Welcome to the Friday, November 5, Brew.
By: David Luchs
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Voters in seven states have decided 11 veto referendums targeting redistricting maps since 1915
- President Biden announces new federal judicial nominees, U.S. Senate confirms two nominees to lifetime federal judgeships
- #FridayTrivia: Which of the following states has had three trifecta changes in the past decade?
Voters in seven states have decided 11 veto referendums targeting redistricting maps since 1915
Voters in seven states have decided 11 veto referendums targeting redistricting maps since the first such referendum was held in 1915.
With the redistricting process following the 2020 census ongoing, we thought it would be a good time to look back at instances in the past when opponents of specific redistricting maps collected signatures for veto referendum petitions asking voters to repeal the maps.
The 11 veto referendums resulted in seven sets of maps being repealed and four being upheld. California had the most district map veto referendums with five. Maryland, North Dakota, Arizona, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Ohio each had one.
Most recently, voters in California and Maryland upheld maps in 2012. The first veto referendums on district maps were in Ohio in 1915 and Missouri in 1922. Voters repealed both targeted congressional maps.
Currently, Ballotpedia is tracking one veto referendum petition effort in Arkansas targeting the repeal of the state’s congressional map that was approved on Oct. 13.
Refresher on veto referendums
A veto referendum is a measure put on the ballot through a citizen signature petition. A veto referendum targets the repeal of a bill recently passed by the legislature. Ballot initiatives are a more common type of citizen-initiated measure, and they propose a new change to state law rather than targeting a recent bill for repeal.
There are 23 states that have a process for veto referendums at the statewide level. From 1906 through 2020, 526 veto referendums appeared on the ballot in 23 states. Voters repealed 342 (65%) of the targeted laws. Voters upheld 184 (35%) of the targeted laws.
Status of redistricting
As of November 1, 2021, seven states have adopted congressional district maps, six states were apportioned one congressional district (so no congressional redistricting is required) and 37 states have not yet adopted congressional redistricting plans after the 2020 census.
As of October 25, 2021, eight states have adopted legislative district maps, one state’s legislative map is awaiting approval by the state supreme court, one state enacted its legislative boundaries based on Census estimates which will be revised in an upcoming special session, and 40 states have not yet adopted legislative redistricting plans after the 2020 census.
Past veto referendums targeting district maps
California – Proposition 40: State Senate Redistricting Map (2012) – Upheld
Maryland – Question 5: Congressional Redistricting Maps (2012) – Upheld
California – Proposition 12: State Assembly Redistricting Map (1982) – Repealed
California – Proposition 11: State Senate Redistricting Map (1982) – Repealed
California – Proposition 10: Congressional Redistricting Map (1982) – Repealed
North Dakota – State Legislative Apportionment Plan (1973) – Repealed
Arizona – Proposition 300: Legislative Districts (1968) – Upheld
Oklahoma – State Question 437: Congressional Districts (1966) – Repealed
California – Proposition 1: Reapportionment of Legislative Districts (1928) – Upheld
Missouri – Proposition 17: Congressional Redistricting Maps (1922) – Repealed
Ohio – Referendum 1: Congressional Redistricting Maps (1915) – Repealed
President Biden announces new federal judicial nominees, U.S. Senate confirms two nominees to lifetime federal judgeships
Here’s a brief update from the judicial nomination/confirmation process.
The U.S. Senate on Nov. 1 confirmed two of President Joe Biden’s (D) federal judicial nominees to lifetime Article III judgeships:
- Beth Robinson, to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, by a vote of 51-45
- Toby Heytens, to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, by a vote of 53-43
On Nov. 3, President Joe Biden (D) announced a new slate of nominees to lifetime Article III judgeships on U.S. circuit and district courts.
- Leonard Stark, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- Jacqueline Corley and Trina Thompson, to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- Ruth Bermudez Montenegro, to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
- Julie Rubin, to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
- Cristina Silva and Anne Traum, to the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada
- Georgette Castner and Evelyn Padin, to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
President Biden also nominated Kendra Briggs to a non-Article III court, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Superior Court of D.C. is a trial court of general jurisdiction; judges are appointed to 15-year terms by the president.
As of this writing, four Article III nominees are awaiting a confirmation vote from the U.S Senate, six nominees are awaiting a Senate Judiciary Committee vote to advance their nominations to the full Senate, and 22 nominees are awaiting a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Since taking office, Biden has nominated 60 individuals to federal judgeships on Article III courts. To date, 28 of the nominees have been confirmed. For historical comparison since 1981, the following list shows the date by which the past six presidents had 28 Article III judicial nominees confirmed by the Senate:
- President Donald Trump (R) – Mar. 5, 2018
- President Barack Obama (D) – June 7, 2010
- President George W. Bush (R) – Dec. 20, 2001
- President Bill Clinton (D) – Nov. 20, 1993
- President George H.W. Bush (R) – April 27, 1990
- President Ronald Reagan (R) – Nov. 18, 1981
#FridayTrivia: Which of the following states has had three trifecta changes in the past decade?
With Glenn Youngkin’s (R) victory in the Virginia gubernatorial election and the Virginia House of Delegates set for either a 50-50 split or a Republican majority once all races have been called, Virginia’s Democratic trifecta was broken in the 2021 elections.
Virginia has had four trifecta changes in the past decade—more than any other state. Colorado and New Hampshire are among the three states that had three trifecta changes. Which one is the third?