Lawsuit filed against Tennessee Republicans, calling new state House, Senate maps 'unconstitutional'

Tennessee Captiol
Posted at 8:26 PM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-23 21:26:52-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A lawsuit has been filed against Tennessee Republicans on Wednesday night, calling the newly approved state redistricting maps unconstitutional.

"The Tennessee General Assembly engaged in an unprecedented reapportionment of voters, redrawing state House and Senate maps to ensure maximum partisan advantage for the incumbent Republican supermajority," the lawsuit says. "These one-sided decisions denied voters any real opportunity to participate in – much less stop – fundamental changes to the process through which Tennessee voters choose their elected representatives."

Gov. Bill Lee, Secretary of State Tre Hargett and Tennessee Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins are specifically named in the lawsuit.

"Regardless of the supermajority’s motives, the Tennessee General Assembly’s and Governor’s redistricting maps are facially unconstitutional according to the text of our state’s founding document," the lawsuit says.

Read the lawsuit here.

Earlier this month, Gov. Lee signed the controversial redistricting bills. The newly drawn maps split Davidson County into three congressional districts. It's the first time the county has been split apart.

Critics of the new districts said it breaks up the Democratic stronghold of Nashville to include more Republican-leaning rural counties — diluting votes of minority community members.

Republicans supporting the plan argue Nashville will benefit from more representation in Washington.

The lawsuit was filed by private citizens, but the Tennessee Democratic Party is covering all fees associated with it.