Congressman Cohen Introduces John Tanner Fairness and Independence in Redistricting Act

July 1, 2021
Press Release
Goal is to curb partisan gerrymandering, restore public confidence

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, which has jurisdiction over voting rights, today introduced the John Tanner Fairness and Independence in Redistricting Act. The measure, named for longtime Tennessee Congressman John Tanner, would require states to take their congressional apportionment out of the political process and place it in the hands of independent redistricting commissions. The commissions would be charged with creating redistricting plans that emphasize geographical contiguity and compactness of districts rather than political affiliations or the impact a district’s lines might have on incumbent representatives. The legislation was championed for years by Congressman Tanner.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

“The voting public knows that gerrymandering is responsible for much of the gridlock and hyper-partisanship in our politics today. For years, I have supported the idea of independent redistricting commissions, which would allow voters to pick their candidates, rather than allowing politicians to select their voters. This is a commonsense reform that the public overwhelmingly supports.”

In March, Congressman Cohen voted for H.R. 1, the For the People Act, which would restore public confidence in the integrity of U.S. elections, limit the influence of Big Money and special interests, strengthen oversight of election spending, establish non-partisan commissions for redistricting, and end conflicts of interest while improving ethics rules.