A request by the Census Bureau to delay important deadlines could end up complicating the redistricting process for many states.
Politico noted that the agency, concerned about the coronavirus crisis, has requested to delay key deadlines by four months. The bureau is asking Congress that it be permitted to provide apportionment data to the president by April 30, 2021, instead of the year-end deadline. It would then provide the states redistricting data by July 31 and not the original April 1 deadline.
The website pointed out that states that have full-time legislatures and have late or no statutory deadlines for redistricting should find the anticipated delays a mild inconvenience. But states with part-time legislatures, like Minnesota or Texas, that have early deadlines could face more serious problems by getting late data.
“There’s no one-size-fit-all solution,” said Jeffrey Wice, an adjunct professor at New York Law School. “But [some] states will not be able to meet their constitutional or statutory deadlines.”
And Politico said officials should expect litigation.
“One of the things we know for sure is, along with death and taxes, redistricting litigation every 10 years is a given,” said Loyola Law School professor Justin Levitt said.
While talks are already underway for a 120-day extension, President Donald Trump has said he wants even more time and has indicated he will ask for a “major” delay.”
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