Michele Bachman says a Minnesota five-judge panel arbitrarily chose her friends and neighbors. How persecuted is she, really? (More)

Yesterday, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) objected to the Minnesota redistricting plan approved by the courts:

Just as we suspected, the liberal courts have changed the makeup of Minnesota’s Congressional districts. The courts’ liberal bias was evident by cherrypicking the districts and going so far as to draw my home – where I have raised my family and represented in Congress for the past six years – outside the new sixth district.

I refuse to allow the courts to arbitrarily determine who my friends, neighbors, and constituents are, and I will take every necessary step to correct this injustice. I have therefore decided to campaign for re-election in the new sixth district, where a majority of my constituents remain.

Setting aside whether the redistricting reflects “liberal bias,” Rep. Bachmann’s listing “friends, neighbors, and constituents” implies that redrawing the district boundaries cut her off from all three. Is her next door neighbor no longer next door? Will her friend down the street now shun her?

In terms of process, the state’s district maps were drawn by a five-member judicial panel after Gov. Mark Dayton (D) vetoed the proposal of the Republican-controlled legislature. The Twin Cities Pioneer Press reports that Bachmann’s previous district was overpopulated by almost 100,000 residents:

The biggest exceptions are Bachmann’s 6th District, which now runs from Washington County across the northern suburbs to just past St. Cloud, and DFL Rep. Betty McCollum’s 4th District covering Ramsey County and portions of Dakota and Washington counties.

The redistricting, done every 10 years to reflect population shifts, had to cut more than 96,000 residents out of Bachmann’s growing 6th District and add more than 48,000 to McCollum’s shrinking 4th District.

It did that in two ways. It lopped off the far ends of the 6th District – western Stearns County and a portion of Washington County directly east of St. Paul – and added a piece of Carver County in the western suburbs. And it dropped the southern portion of the 4th District, but pushed the eastern border all the way to Wisconsin.

None of that “arbitrarily determined” Rep. Bachmann’s friends or neighbors, or even her constituents. She can run in any Minnesota district, as Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution does not require House members to live in the districts they represent. And she’s already announced that she’ll run in the 6th District, where most of her current constituents live.

Maybe she’ll even make some new friends. Unless she keeps complaining about them.


Happy Wednesday!