This year, the next decennial United States census has begun. When the results of the new census are released, nearly every state may be forced to redraw the boundary lines defining its state and federal legislative districts. The goals and methods a state adopts for political redistricting pose important policy questions for the state. The location of the boundary lines will greatly influence the composition of the legislatures, and the new legislatures will, in turn, affect the direction of states for years into the future. Since the U.S. Supreme Court first held political redistricting to be justiciable in Baker v. Carr, t redistricting has been constrained by legal decisions defining constitutional requirements for drawing district lines. Political redistricting has thus become a question of law as well as policy.

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