New Jersey enacts new congressional map

On Dec. 22, 2021, the New Jersey Congressional Redistricting Commission enacted a new congressional map, which will take effect for New Jersey’s 2022 congressional elections.

The commission voted 7-6 to approve the Democratic map proposal, with all six Democratic members and the tiebreaker chairman of the commission, former New Jersey Supreme Court Judge John Wallace, voting to approve. All six Republican members of the commission voted against the map.

Democratic members of the commission were appointed by Democratic legislative and party leaders, and the Republican members were similarly appointed by Republican legislative and party leaders. Commissioners did not agree on a required 13th tiebreaking member, so a majority of the New Jersey Supreme Court voted to select Wallace for the position.

Following the commission’s vote, the Republican commissioners released a statement saying: “We cannot convey enough how disappointed we are in the final product of this process. This decade’s redistricting of New Jersey Congressional boundaries was hijacked by a liberal operative [redistricting advisor Professor Sam Wang of the Princeton Gerrymandering Project] hiding under the cloak of bipartisanship. The resultant map was rigged for Democrat success.”

In a comment during the commission’s meeting, Chairman John Wallace said: “In summary, both delegations aptly applied our standards to their map. In the end, I decided to vote for the Democratic map simply because the last redistricting map, it was drawn by the Republicans. Thus I conclude that fairness dictates that the Democrats have the opportunity to have their map used for the next redistricting cycle.”

New Jersey is the 21st state to complete congressional redistricting. During the 2010 redistricting cycle, New Jersey enacted a congressional map on Dec. 23, 2011, one day later than their congressional map enactment date this cycle. The New Jersey Legislative Reapportionment Commission, which is tasked with legislative redistricting, has not yet voted to approve new legislative maps.