|2010-cycle districts:||Congress, State Senate, State House « NEW|
|2000-cycle districts:||Congress, State Senate, State House|
|Primary governing law:||Mass. Const. amend. art. CI|
Redistricting political control:
Governor State Senate State House Congressional lines D 36 D, 4 R 128 D, 31 R (could override veto) State legislative lines D 36 D, 4 R 128 D, 31 R (could override veto) 2000 cong. lines R 32 D, 6 R 136 D, 22 R (could override veto) 2000 state lines R 32 D, 6 R 136 D, 22 R (could override veto)
Massachusetts' congressional and state legislative lines are both drawn by the state legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto. The members of the joint legislative committee with responsibility for redistricting are listed here.
The Massachusetts constitution vests original jurisdiction in the state Supreme Court for review of state legislative lines in state court. By statute, the legislature has provided a similar provision for congressional lines. [Mass. Const. amend. art. CI, § 3; 2002 Mass. Legis. ch. 29, § 2 (H.B. 4778)]
Census data were delivered to Massachusetts on March 22, 2011.
Massachusetts state law does not impose a particular deadline for drawing congressional lines, though candidates must file for congressional primary elections by August 28, 2012. [Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 53, § 10]
State legislative lines must be drawn in the first legislative session after the federal Census is conducted; that session begins on January 5, 2011, and ends January 3, 2012. [Mass. Const. amend. art. CI] Candidates must file for state legislative primary elections by May 29, 2012. [Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 53, § 10]
Massachusetts law appears to tie the drawing of state legislative lines to the Census, and to prohibit redrawing lines mid-decade; there is no similar provision pertaining to congressional lines. [Mass. Const. amend. art. CXIX]
- Public input
The legislative committee with responsibility for redistricting held public meetings through July 11, 2011.
Like all states, Massachusetts must comply with constitutional equal population requirements, and further requires that its state legislative districts be as nearly equal in population "as may be." [Mass. Const. amend. art. CI]
Massachusetts must also, like all states, abide by section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
Massachusetts law further provides that state legislative districts be contiguous, and that it reasonably preserve counties, towns, and cities intact, where otherwise possible. There are no similar provisions for congressional districts. [Mass. Const. amend. art. CI; Mayor of Cambridge v. Secretary, 436 Mass. 476 (2002).]
- 2000 cycle
In the 2000 redistricting cycle, the Massachusetts legislature enacted congressional plans on February 11, 2002, without the Governor's signature. The legislature enacted state Senate and state House plans on November 8, 2001.
The state House plan was challenged in state and federal court; the plan was upheld in state court, but struck down in federal court, based on violations of the Voting Rights Act. The state submitted an adjusted map that was approved by the court, and then formally enacted by the legislature on April 21, 2004.