Legally Rigging Elections: Redistricting, a Brief History (Video)

Earlier this week, on April 26, the U.S. Census Bureau announced which states will gain and lose congressional seats in the next decennial redistricting process. In the coming months, with the new census data, states across the country will work to refresh the maps they use to determine the boundaries of each district for electoral purposes. It’s not hyperbole to say, the fate of who controls Congress is at stake.

A lot has been written about gerrymandering — the process of manipulating maps for political gain — but what’s rarely discussed is why it’s even legal. Did the Framers really intend to design a system where politicians choose their voters, rather than the other way around?

In this video, we talk to former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Loyola Law School Professor Justin Levitt, and Greg Giroux, senior elections reporter for Bloomberg Government, about the long history of the fight over who draws the maps.


EDITOR’S NOTE: In the weeks between our interview and publication of this video, Justin Levitt took leave at Loyola Law School to join the White House as a democracy policy and voting rights adviser.

To contact the producer on this story: Andrew Satter in Washington at

To contact the executive producer responsible for this video: Josh Block at