“Where will it end?” Anger over redistricting grows ahead of 2022 midterms
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Powder Springs, Georgia, a majority-Black community north of Atlanta, has long been represented by a Black Democrat in Congress — but not likely for much longer, as CBS News chief election and campaign correspondent Robert Costa reports.
Next year, following the midterm elections for the state’s new congressional map, the city will be part of Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, represented by Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Trump ally who has been criticized by Democrats — and some Republicans — for expressing conspiratorial views.
“What they’ve done is taken a predominantly African American area and combined it up with north Georgia to dilute our strength,” said Georgia State Rep. David Wilkerson, a Democrat, told CBS News.
The upheaval and anger among some Democrats was caused by the state’s GOP-controlled Legislature, which redrew the lines of the state’s political map last year following the 2020 Census count.
Greene has criticized state Republicans for meddling with her district, but said earlier this year that she welcomes the additions.
“I’m excited to have them in my district,” she told CBS News. “So we’re happy to help and I hope people give us a call.”
Still, many Democrats say the new maps in Georgia and nationwide, carved by Republican state houses, are unfair. The alarm extends to Capitol Hill.
“I would say they give racial advantage, under the guise of giving partisan advantage,” House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D–South Carolina) told CBS News. “They’re taking race into account, but not to be fair, not to be inclusive, but to do just the opposite.”
Clyburn, the highest ranking Black lawmaker in Congress, said he thinks it’s just the beginning of GOP-drawn maps having a negative effect on how people of color are represented in Congress.
“What I think is taking place today is the beginning of a process. Where will it end?” he said.
Democrats are facing their own questions about how they have drawn the lines in blue states.
“They overreached, they attempted to gerrymander the Republican Party out of existence,” said former Republican Rep. John Faso, who has been advising Republicans about the redistricting process.
For now, anger and apprehension remain in places like Georgia over who is representing who in Washington, D.C., just weeks ahead of the midterm elections.
“There was no logical way that Marjorie Taylor Greene could come into Cobb County unless you gerrymandered the district,” Wilkerson said.
Ultimately, the Supreme Court could have the final word on just how far state legislatures can go with redistricting. A major case, regarding a map drawn by North Carolina’s GOP legislature, is set to be heard in the coming year to decide how and when state courts can weigh in and reject or accept the way districts are drawn.