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Prof. Justin Levitt's Doug Spencer's Guide to Drawing the Electoral Lines

State Summary

Kansas’s congressional and state legislative lines are drawn by the legislature, as normal legislation, subject to gubernatorial veto.

In the 2010 cycle, the legislature could not agree on congressional or state legislative district lines.  On June 7, 2012, a federal court drew district lines instead.

In the 2020 cycle, Gov. Kelly signed the new state legislative districts into law on April 15, 2022. Gov. Kelly vetoed SB 355, the congressional redistricting plan advanced by the legislature. The legislature then voted to override her veto. On April 25, 2022, a Kansas state court judge found the congressional plan unconstitutional. Kansas Secretary of State Schwab appealed that decision to the state’s supreme court.

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Seats: (projected)

Institution:

Drawn by:

Plan Status:

Party Control:
  Upper House:
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  Governor:

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The Latest Updates

Apr 29, 2022
Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab appealed the decision striking down the state's congressional map. The Kansas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the appeal on May 16, 2022.
Apr 25, 2022
A Kansas state judge found the recently-enacted congressional redistricting plan unconstitutional on both partisan gerrymandering and minority vote dilution grounds.
Apr 15, 2022
Kansas Gov. Kelly signed into law the state's new legislative districts.
Mar 31, 2022
Kansas lawmakers gave final approval to a legislative redistricting bill for both the state House and Senate. The bill will now go to the governor's desk.
Mar 23, 2022
The Kansas House voted to approve a new state House redistricting plan.
Mar 11, 2022
Kansas Senate Republicans also proposed a new state Senate redistricting plan.
Mar 10, 2022
Kansas Senate Democrats proposed a new state Senate redistricting plan.
Mar 4, 2022
The Kansas Supreme Court declined to dismiss two pending redistricting lawsuits after Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab petitioned them to do so.
Mar 1, 2022
A group of Kansas residents filed a lawsuit challenging the congressional redistricting plan on partisan gerrymandering grounds.
Feb 18, 2022
Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab filed a lawsuit in the Kansas Supreme Court seeking to require Judge Klapper to dismiss the Rivera and Alonzo actions on the grounds that Kansas state courts cannot entertain challenges to federal congressional redistricting.
Feb 14, 2022
Two lawsuits (Alonzo and Rivera) were filed against Kansas's recently-enacted congressional redistricting plan.
Feb 9, 2022
The Kansas House also voted to override Gov. Kelly's veto of the congressional redistricting plan. The plan now becomes law.
Feb 8, 2022
The Kansas Senate voted to override Gov. Kelly's veto of the congressional redistricting plan.
Feb 3, 2022
Gov. Kelly vetoed the congressional redistricting plan approved by the legislature on grounds that it deviates, without explanation, from redistricting guidelines.
Jan 24, 2022
The Kansas House voted to approve the congressional redistricting map previously advanced by the Senate.
Jan 21, 2022
The full Kansas Senate voted to approve the congressional redistricting map previously advanced out of committee.
Jan 20, 2022
The Kansas Senate Redistricting Committee voted to approve a congressional redistricting map. The map now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
Jan 18, 2022
Republican lawmakers released a proposed congressional redistricting plan.
Oct 26, 2021
The Kansas Legislature announced plans to hold four additional public hearings on the redistricting process in November.
Jul 9, 2021
Kansas lawmakers are planning to hold 14 town halls to gather public input on the redistricting process. The full schedule is available here.
May 20, 2021
The Kansas Office of Revisor of Statutes issued proposed guidelines and criteria for the redistricting process.

Institution

Kansas’ congressional and state legislative lines are both drawn by the state legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto.

The state legislative plan is automatically sent to the Kansas Supreme Court for review; if the plan is unlawful, the Court will allow the legislature another opportunity to redraw the lines. No similar provision exists for congressional lines. [Kan. Const. art. X, § 1(b)]

Timing

Kansas state law does not impose a particular deadline for drawing congressional lines, though candidates must file for congressional primary elections by June 1, 2022. [Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-205(a)(1)]  The legislative session began on Jan. 11, 2021, and is currently scheduled to end on May 14, 2021.

State legislative lines must be drawn in the regular legislative session of 2022; that session is scheduled to begin on Jan. 10, 2022, and end on Apr. 10, 2022. [Kan. Const. art. II, § 8; art. X, § 1(a)] Candidates must file for state legislative primary elections by June 1, 2022. [Kan. Stat. Ann. § 25-205(a)(1)].

Kansas prohibits redrawing state legislative district lines mid-decade, before the next Census, but has no similarly explicit prohibition on redrawing congressional lines. [Kan. Const. art. X, § 1(a)Harris v. Shanahan, 387 P.2d 771 (Kan. 1963)]

Public input

The legislative redistricting committees held a series of 14 public hearings on the redistricting process from August 9, 2021, through August 13, 2021.

Criteria

Like all states, Kansas must comply with constitutional equal population requirements. (Kansas once adjusted census data in order to count military personnel and college students at their permanent residence, but as of 2019, no longer does so.) [Kan. Const. art. X, § 1(a); Kan. S. Con. Res. 1605; Kan. Stat. §§ 11-301 – 307]

Kansas must also, like all states, abide by the Voting Rights Act and constitutional rules on race.

2010 cycle

Kansas’s legislature could not agree on congressional or state legislative district lines.  On June 7, 2012, a federal court drew district lines instead.  [Essex v. Kobach, 874 F. Supp. 2d 1069 (D. Kan. 2012)]

2000 cycle

Kansas’s legislature enacted state House districts (HB 2625) on Mar. 11, 2002, state Senate districts (SB 256) on Apr. 8, 2002, and congressional districts (SB 152) on May 31, 2002.

The state legislative plans were automatically submitted to state court, and upheld.  The congressional plan was also challenged in federal court, and ultimately upheld. [In re Substitute for House Bill 2625, No. 88735 (Kan. 2002); In re Substitute for Senate Bill 256, No. 88821 (Kan. 2002); Graham v. Thornburgh, 207 F. Supp. 2d 1280 (D. Kan. 2002)]

Redistricting Cases in Kansas

Search all Kansas Cases >

Kansas | State Trial | Congress
Alonzo v. Schwab
State court challenge to congressional districts as partisan and racial gerrymander in violation of state constitution
Last Updated Apr 25, 2022
Case Number

2022-CV-000090

Cycle 2020
Kansas | State Trial | Congress
Rivera v. Schwab
PENDING - State court challenge to congressional redistricting plan on partisan gerrymandering and vote dilution grounds.
Last Updated Apr 25, 2022
Case Number

No. 2022-CV-000089

Cycle 2020
Kansas | State Trial | Congress
Frick v. Schwab
State court action challenging congressional redistricting plan on partisan gerrymandering grounds. 
Last Updated Apr 25, 2022
Case Number

Case No. 2022-CV-000071

Cycle 2020