Minnesota

State website: Minnesota GIS, State House redistricting committee
2010-cycle districts: Congress, State Legislature  « NEW 
2000-cycle districts: Congress, State Senate, State House
Primary governing law: Minn. Const. art. IV, §§ 2-3

The Latest

On May 19, 2011, the governor vetoed HF 1426 (congressional lines) and HF 1425 (state legislative lines).

With the legislative session concluded, the State Supreme Court appointed a panel of judges to draw lines. On Nov. 4, the panel issued criteria to guide its work, and on Feb. 21, 2012, the panel issued congressional and state legislative lines.

  • Institution

    Redistricting political control:

    Governor State Senate State House
    Congressional lines D 30 D, 37 R 62 D, 72 R
    State legislative lines D 30 D, 37 R 62 D, 72 R
    2000 cong. lines I 37 D, 27 R 64 D, 70 R
    2000 state lines I 37 D, 27 R 64 D, 70 R

    Minnesota's congressional and state legislative lines are both drawn by the state legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto. The members of the state House committee responsible for redistricting are listed here; the members of the state Senate committee are listed here.


  • Timing

    Census data were delivered to Minnesota on March 16, 2011.

    Minnesota law requires that congressional and legislative districts be drawn in the first legislative session after the census; that session began on January 4, 2011, and is scheduled to end on May 23, 2011. [Minn. Const. art. IV, § 3] By statute, Minnesota has set a "final" deadline of 25 weeks before the primary election (February 21, 2012), in order to give counties and municipalities time to reset precinct boundaries. Candidates must file for congressional and state legislative primary elections by June 5, 2012. [Minn. Stat. §§ 204B.09(1)(a), 204B.14(1a)]

    Minnesota ties the drawing of congressional and state legislative lines to the Census, and might therefore be construed to prohibit redrawing lines mid-decade. [Minn. Const. art. IV, § 3]


  • Public input

    The House Redistricting Committee public hearing schedule is posted here. Documents and minutes from prior meetings are posted here.

    In the previous redistricting cycle, the Governor created a Governor's Citizen Advisory Commission on Redistricting; it does not appear that a similar entity was created in this cycle.

    Once the State Supreme Court announced its intent to form a panel capable of drawing lines, the judges held a series of public meetings from October 4-14, and invited proposed maps before November 18, before a January 4 hearing on the plans.

    The Minnesota Citizens Redistricting Commission planned public meetings in August and September, to collect testimony and produce maps that they hoped would inform the judges' decision. Common Cause Minnesota and the Humphrey School's Center for the Study of Politics and Governance also announced a public competition to draw congressional and legislative lines.


  • Criteria

    Like all states, Minnesota must comply with constitutional equal population requirements. In 2001, both the state House and the state Senate passed separate resolutions providing principles for redistricting, but could not agree on the substance, and no resolution passed both houses. Both resolutions would have restricted state legislative districts to a lower population deviation than required by the Constitution (in one resolution, 2% deviation from the ideal; in the other, 0.75% deviation from the ideal). [Minn. Const. art. IV, § 2; S.F. No. 1326, 82d Leg. Sess. (2001); S.F. No. 1326, as amended, 82d Leg. Sess. (2001)]

    Minnesota must also, like all states, abide by section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. In 2001, both the state House and the state Senate passed separate resolutions providing principles for redistricting, but could not agree on the substance, and no resolution passed both houses. Both resolutions would have provided independent prohibitions on diluting minority voting opportunities. [S.F. No. 1326, 82d Leg. Sess. (2001); S.F. No. 1326, as amended, 82d Leg. Sess. (2001)]

    The Minnesota constitution requires that state Senate districts be contiguous, and that Representative districts be nested within Senate districts. [Minn. Const. art. IV, § 3] By statute, the legislature has extended the contiguity requirement to all congressional and legislative districts, and asked that political subdivisions not be divided more than necessary; that statutory provision may be modified by the legislature at any time. [Minn. Stat. § 2.91(2) ] In 2001, both the state House and the state Senate passed separate resolutions providing principles for redistricting, but could not agree on the substance, and no resolution passed both houses. Both resolutions would have asked that congressional and legislative districts be compact, preserve communities of interest where possible, and refrain from unduly favoring any political party. [S.F. No. 1326, 82d Leg. Sess. (2001); S.F. No. 1326, as amended, 82d Leg. Sess. (2001)]


  • 2010 cycle cases

    Britton v. Ritchie, No. 0:11-CV-00093 (D. Minn.): a challenge in federal court to the unequal population of current districts, based on the legislature's inability to agree on congressional and state legislative districts within the 2011 legislative session.
         - Complaint (Jan. 12, 2011).
         - Intervenor Hippert complaint (Jan. 21, 2011) and Sellner complaint (May 23).
         - Motion to lift stay (May 17, 2011), denied (July 21).
         - Stipulation for dismissal (Aug. 22, 2012).
    The latest: After resolution of the redistricting plan in state court, the case was voluntarily dismissed on August 22, 2012.

    Hippert v. Ritchie, No. 86-CV-11-433 (Minn. Dist. Ct., Wright County) & No. A110152 (Minn. Sup. Ct.): a challenge in state court to the unequal population of current districts, based on the legislature's inability to agree on constitutional and state legislative districts within the 2011 legislative session.
         - Complaint (Jan. 21, 2011).
         - Martin intervenors' complaint (May 23).
         - Britton intervenors' complaint (July 29).
         - Redistricting criteria used by the panel (Nov. 4).
         - Responses to Nov. 18 proposed congressional plans
              - Response of SoS Ritchie, Britton et al., Hippert et al., Martin et al. (Dec. 9).
         - Responses to Nov. 18 proposed legislative plans
              - Response of SoS Ritchie, Britton et al., Hippert et al., Martin et al. (Dec. 9).
         - Final congressional order (maps 1, 2, 3, 4, app. B, C, D, E, F, G, H) (Feb. 21).
         - Final state leg. order (maps 1, 2, 3, 4, app. B, C, D, E, F, G, H) (Feb. 21).
    The latest: On June 1, 2011, the Minnesota Supreme Court appointed a special five-judge redistricting panel (website here) to redraw districts. The panel held public meetings from October 4-14. On Nov. 4, the panel issued criteria to guide its work: in addition to federal requirements, districts drawn by the court would be contiguous and compact, would not divide political subdivisions more than necessary, would preserve communities of interest where possible, and would not be drawn for the purpose of protecting or defeating incumbents (though the impact of redistricting on incumbents may be considered). On Feb. 21, the panel issued congressional and state legislative lines.


  • 2000 cycle

    In the 2000 redistricting cycle, Minnesota's legislature failed to enact either congressional or state legislative plans; the state Supreme Court instead stepped in, and delegated redistricting to a special panel of judges. That panel issued both congressional and state legislative plans, effective March 19, 2002.

    [Zachman v. Kiffmeyer, C0-01-160 (Minn. Spec. Redistricting Panel Mar. 19, 2002) (congressional plan)]; Zachman v. Kiffmeyer, C0-01-160 (Minn. Spec. Redistricting Panel Mar. 19, 2002) (legislative plan)]


  • Other state links

    2000-cycle court materials (legislative plan and congressional plan)
    Minnesota Citizens Redistricting Commission
    Draw Our Minnesota

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