HR1: The most significant Congressional Redistricting legislation in 100 years

The U.S. Congress' HR1 gets lots of headlines for its voting rights reforms for adopting nationwide, many of the reforms Coloradans enjoy - Automatic Voter Registration, Same-Day Registration, secure and safe Vote-at-Home resources and standardizing Early Voting.  One of the important sections of HR1 that gets less attention is Redistricting reform. 

According to the Brennan Center, Congress has the power to set rules for federal redistricting.  Arizona v. Intertribal Council of Arizona, Inc., 570 U.S. 1 (2013).  Currently, the only proactive federal guidance on redistricting is that every congressional district has to be as equal in population as practicable.  Once a state adopts a map, individuals can challenge the makeup of a map based upon violations of the Equal Protection Clause or the Voting Rights Act - a reactive process.

HR1 creates new proactive systems for redistricting.  The legislation requires states to employ Independent Commissions to draw maps, sets guidelines on the criteria map drawers can use, and the ranking of the criteria.  The legislation also creates a streamlined judicial review process for adopted maps and seeks transparency for the map drawing process.

Colorado voters overwhelmingly passed similar rules and processes as HR1 in 2018 with Initiatives Y and Z; and, has drawn state legislative districts via a bi-partisan commission for decades.  While HR1 will be a much bigger change for many states that still draw maps in smoke-filled back rooms, than Colorado.  The legislation will impact Colorado's process if the legislation is finally adopted.