Jan 21, 2022 - Politics

State Senate approves congressional redistricting plan

The Tennessee Senate chambers in 2021.
The Tennessee Senate chambers in 2021. Photo: Mark Humphrey/AP

Plans to split Nashville between three conservative congressional districts continue to sail through the General Assembly, even as Democrats foreshadow an upcoming court battle.

  • The state Senate yesterday handily approved the redistricting plan along party lines. The state House is scheduled to vote Monday on the matter.

Why it matters: The debate so far highlights the power of the Republican supermajority in the Tennessee statehouse, which oversaw redistricting.

  • The map quickly moved through committees and toward final approval despite intense criticism from Democrats, who said it would diminish the power of Nashville and the Black voters who currently sit in the 5th district.

What they're saying: During a presentation on the Senate floor, Majority Leader Jack Johnson, R-Franklin, said the map was legal, logical, and fair.

  • "It will give all of Tennesseans a strong voice in Washington, which is ultimately what we want," Johnson said.

What's next: After the vote, Minority Leader Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville, told reporters a legal challenge was likely.

  • "It's hard to imagine you don't see this in litigation at some point," Yarbro said, per the Tennessean.
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