Nebraska’s Political Lineup
* Nebraska has a unicameral legislature with 49 non-partisan members
Congressional plans were completed and adopted by the unicameral on May 29, 2001; state legislative plans were adopted on May 31, 2001.
Who’s in Charge of Redistricting?
The legislature is in charge of both legislative and congressional redistricting. The governor has veto power over both congressional and state legislative plans.
|Districting Principles |
Each plan is debated on the floor of the unicameral which is open to the public and broadcast on local television. The maps for the districts as adopted are available online as a part of the legislature's redistricting page .
Nebraska’s districts have remained largely the same since the 1960's. All three of Nebraska’s congressional districts lean strongly to Republicans. As the state itself leans strongly Republican, it is unlikely that any plan intentionally or otherwise would favor a Democrat.
There were a number of efforts in the 1990's to put into place a system based on Iowa's criteria-driven redistricting model. The current system, with a legislative task force overseeing redistricting, with staff assistance from the Research Division (a nonpartisan legislative office) is a spinoff of these earlier efforts.
The goal of the proposed reforms has been to try to open up the process and make it more accessible to the public and less partisan. Common Cause Nebraska has been closely involved in these efforts to open up the process.
Plaintiffs suing under Article III of the Nebraska state constitution were successful in persuading the state court to compel the legislature to modify its state legislative district plan so that two separate counties would not be split between two house districts during the last round of redistricting. Article III of the state constitution specifically required that district lines "follow county lines whenever practical." Another claim, similar to the first, was dismissed on grounds that equal population concerns required a county split in that case.
During the last round of redistricting, a candidate for the state legislature who won in her primary was suddenly removed from the district in which she had been a candidate after the state modified the district plan in compliance with the litigation above. The candidate sued in state court claiming disenfranchisement of the voters in her previous district and Due Process and Equal Protection violations. Her case was dismissed.