Congressional & Legislative
Primary Authority: Congressional and legislative plans are enacted by the Connecticut General Assembly with a 2/3 vote in each chamber, not subject to the Governor's veto. Plans are drawn by the General Assembly's 8-member reapportionment committee, with the Speaker and minority leader of the Connecticut House of Representatives and the President and minority leader of the Connecticut Senate each appointing two members from their respective caucuses. [Conn. Const. art. III, § 6]
Backup Authority: If the General Assembly fails to enact a plan by its deadline, the 9-member Connecticut Reapportionment Commission is formed to draw and adopt the plan. The Speaker and minority leader of the Connecticut House of Representatives and the President and minority leader of the Connecticut Senate each appoint 2 members, then those 8 members select a Connecticut voter to serve as the 9th member. 5 affirmative votes are required to adopt a plan, which is then submitted to the Secretary of State. The Commission’s plan becomes effective upon its publication by the Secretary.
If the Commission fails to adopt a plan by its deadline, the Connecticut Supreme Court establishes the plan and files it with the Secretary of State, which becomes effective after publication. [Conn. Const. art. III, § 6]
Mapping Timeline: The General Assembly must appoint its reapportionment committee by February 15 of the year following the decennial census and must enact final plans by September 15 of that year.
If the General Assembly fails to meet this deadline, the Connecticut Reapportionment Commission must adopt and submit its final redistricting plan(s) to the secretary of State by the next November 30 following their appointment.
If the Commission fails to meet its deadline, the Connecticut Supreme Court must file its final redistricting plan(s) with the Secretary of State by the next February 15 following the Commission's missed deadline. [Conn. Const. art. III, § 6]
Map Challenges: Filed in the Connecticut Supreme Court. Any registered voter can petition the Court to compel the Commission to perform its duties or to correct any error in a redistricting plan within 30 days of the deadline specified for any duty or the filing of a redistricting plan. The Court must render its decision within 45 days of the petition’s filing. [Conn. Const. art. III, § 6]
Ballot Measure & Referendum Processes
Types of Measures: Only the Connecticut General Assembly can refer amendments to the ballot. There is no initiative or referendum process. [Conn. Const. art. XII]
Previous Redistricting Cycles
- Connecticut Supreme Court’s Plan
- Adopted = February 10, 2012
- Litigation History
- Ex rel. Petition of Reapportionment Comm'n, No. S.C. 20661 (Conn. Feb. 10, 2022): After the Connecticut General Assembly failed to enact a congressional redistricting plan by its deadline, map drawing authority passed to the Connecticut Reapportionment Commission. After the Commission failed to adopt a final plan by its deadline, it filed a petition with the Connecticut Supreme Court on December 2, 2021, seeking an extension of time to allow them to complete their congressional redistricting process. The Court granted the extension, but after the Commission again failed to adopt a plan by its new deadline, the Court appointed a special master on December 23, 2021. On February 10, 2022, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued an order adopting the Special Master's proposed congressional plan and directing that the plan be filed with the Secretary of State, thereby ending the case.
- Connecticut Supreme Court Plan
- Adopted = February 10, 2012 (General Assembly failed; Backup Commission failed; state Supreme Court assumed redistricting responsibility)
- Litigation History
- In re Petition of Reapportionment Comm’n, 36 A.3d 661 (Conn. 2012): After the General Assembly and Backup Commission both failed to pass a congressional plan, the Connecticut Supreme Court assumed redistricting authority and adopted a final congressional map drawn by the court-appointed special master on February 10, 2012.
- Backup Commission’s Plans
- Adopted = November 30, 2011 (General Assembly failed)
- Litigation History
- NAACP v. Merrill, No. 3:18-cv-1094 (D. Conn. Apr. 16, 2020): On June 28, 2018, a group of Connecticut voters and the NAACP filed a federal lawsuit challenging Connecticut’s legislative plans as violating the one person, one vote requirement of the 14th Amendment on the grounds it utilized prison gerrymandering. The court granted the parties’ voluntarily dismissal of the action on April 16, 2020.
In The News
- Connecticut Supreme Court Approves Map, Ending Redistricting Process, WSHU (2/14/22)
- Connecticut Supreme Court Adopts Expert’s Redistricting Plan, AP (2/11/22)
- Final Map Is Closer To Democratic Proposal, CT News Junkie (1/19/22)
- Special Master Asks Democrats, Republicans to Seek Congressional Map Compromise, The CT Mirror (1/10/22)
- Republicans Balk at Court’s Choice for Redistricting Expert, AP (12/24/21)
- Connecticut Reaches an Impasse on Congressional Reapportionment, WSHU (12/22/21)
- Redistricting Commission Given Until Dec. 21 to Finish Work, AP (12/10/21)
- Bipartisan Connecticut Senate Redistricting Plan Approved, AP (11/23/21)
- Bipartisan Redistricting Plan for Connecticut House Approved, AP (11/18/21)
- Redistricting Committee, Delayed, Prepares for ‘Sprint’, CTNewsJunkie (8/3/21)
- New Connecticut Law Abolishes Prison Gerrymandering, Patch (5/27/21)
- Senate Votes to End Prison Gerrymandering, The CT Mirror (5/5/21)
- Bill would Change how Inmates are Counted for Redistricting, AP (3/10/21)
- Connecticut's Redistricting Could Be Squeezed By COVID-19, CT Mirror (5/27/20)
- NAACP withdraws prison gerrymandering lawsuit, AP (4/21/20)