There has been much hyperbole in the Mississippi House in the last 24 hours over the implications of reordering the Supreme Court districts via HB 868.
The crux of the issue is putting Simpson County in the Central MS supreme court district from where it currently resides in the southern district. Simpson County is naturally more aligned with the central part of the state than the southern. In fact, Simpson County is part of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical area (including Hinds, Rankin, Madison and Copiah).
Here are the facts. The current southern district has a population that makes the central district the smallest numerically aligned district in the state. Currently, the southern district has 1,016,650 and the central district has 961,076. The realigned district would have the southern district at 989,147 and the central district at 988,579. The only change (that House LBC members seem willing to burn the House down for) would be the black voting age population (BVAP) which would decrease in the numerically realigned district from 51% to 50.56% in the new central district . That’s .44% – less than one half of one percent. There would be almost no way to sensibly realign the districts and achieve a more minimal impact.
Below are the maps and analysis.