The U.S. Constitution
|Legislative districts must be substantially equal in population
"... nor shall any state ... deny to
any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
This "equal protection clause"
of the 14th Amendment was held by the U.S. Supreme Court to apply to
redistricting of state legislatures, and to require legislative districts to
be substantially equal in population, in
Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533
(1964). U.S. Const. amend. XIV
Congressional districts must be equal as practicable||
"The house of representatives shall be composed of members chosen every two
years by the people of the several states ..." This
provision was held by the U.S. Supreme Court to apply to state redistricting
of congressional districts, and to require congressional districts to be as
equal as practicable, in Wesberry v. Sanders,
376 U.S. 1 (1964). U.S. Const. art. I, sec. 2
|No one can be denied equal voting power based on race, color, or ethnic group
"No voting qualification or
prerequisite to voting or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or
applied by any State or political subdivision in a manner which results in a
denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen of the United States to vote
on account of race or color ... [or] because he is a member of a language
Federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, section 2
[42 U.S.C. sec. 1973(a) and 1973b(f)(2)]
|Districts of Senate and House members are based on population
"Apportionment of members. The number of members who compose the senate
and the house of representatives shall be prescribed by law. The
representation in both houses shall be apportioned equally throughout the
different sections of the state in proportion to the population thereof." Minn. Const. art. IV, sec. 2.
District boundaries are redrawn according to the census||
"Census enumeration apportionment; congressional and legislative district boundaries;
senate districts. At its first session after each enumeration of the
inhabitants of this state made by the authority of the United States, the
legislature shall have the power to prescribe the bounds of congressional and
legislative districts. Senators shall be chosen by single districts of
convenient contiguous territory. No representative districts shall be divided
in the formation of a senate district. The senate districts shall be numbered
in a regular series." Minn. Const. art. IV, sec. 3.
The Senate has 67 members with 67 districts
The House has 134 members with 134 districts
Minnesota Statutes, sections 2.021 and 2.031, subdivision 1, provide as follows:
2.021 Number of Members.
For each legislature, until a new apportionment shall have been made, the
senate is composed of 67 members and the house of representatives is composed
of 134 members.
Subdivision 1. Legislative districts. The representatives in the
senate and house of representatives
are apportioned throughout the state in 67 senate districts and 134 house
districts. Each senate district is entitled to elect one senator and each
house district is entitled to elect one representative.
|District boundaries, based on the 1990 census, are defined in statute
Minnesota Statutes, sections 2.742-2.812 describe
congressional districts, and
sections 2.043-.705 describe
legislative districts. Those districts are based upon the 1990 census and
have been superceded by the court decision establishing new districts based
upon the 2000 census. Redistricting legislation would repeal and replace
these sections with new boundaries. The legislature has not enacted new
boundaries to reflect the 2000 census.
Minnesota Statutes, section 2.91,
enacted in 1994, provides for the distribution and correction of enacted
legislative and congressional redistricting plans.
|Local governments determine local election boundaries after redistricting
Statutes, section 204B.135, deals with redistricting by local governments
of their election districts after legislative redistricting.
Statutes, section 204B.14, deals with determination of voting precincts by
local governments after legislative and congressional redistricting.
Statutes, sections 204B.145 and
deal with the role of the Secretary of State in assisting local governments in
connection with redistricting.
Redistricting affects cities, counties, school districts, and other local units of government
Minnesota Statutes, section 205.84,
requires cities that elect
city council members to redistrict the wards after each census if necessary to
keep wards "as equal in population as practicable."
This is done after legislative redistricting.
Statutes, section 205A.12, subdivisions 4 and 6, deal with school board
election district redistricting by school boards after legislative
Statutes, section 375.025, deals with redistricting of county commissioner
districts by county boards.
Statutes, section 383A.23, subdivision 5, provides that redistricting of
Ramsey County is governed by the same law (section 375.025, mentioned above)
that applies to other counties. This special cross-reference for Ramsey
County exists presumably because Ramsey County is the only home rule charter
county, to which the regular statute might not otherwise apply.
Minnesota Statutes, section 473.123,
requires the legislature to
redistrict the Metropolitan Council. The new districts are to become effective
in years ending in "3."
|Redistricting affects the state court of appeals, the University of Minnesota, and MnSCU
Statutes, section 480A.02, subdivisions 3, 4, and 5, require that the
Minnesota Court of Appeals include at least one judge from each congressional
district, based on where the judge lived at the time of initial appointment or
election. The law specifies how adjustments are made by the court after
congressional redistricting by the legislature.
Minnesota Statutes, section 137.024, relating
to the University of Minnesota, provides: "At least one member of the board of regents of the
university shall be a resident of each congressional district."
Minnesota Statutes, section 136F.02,
subdivision 1, relating to the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU),
provides: "At least one member of the board must be a resident of each