As Jason posted below, the Obama Justice Department has pre-cleared Georgia’s plan to redistrict House, Senate and Congressional lines.
Democratic leaders will likely continue to press the issue in court, though future chances of success are highly unlikely. It also settles any question that the 2012 elections will be held under the newly-drawn district lines.
What does this mean for Georgia?
DOJ pre-clearance essentially solidifies around 120 Republican-leaning House seats out of 180, which provides the Constitutional majority Republicans hoped for. My own research leads me to conclude that the most likely scenario is for the GOP to control around 122 House seats after the November election. There’s realistically only one Republican-held seat truly vulnerable to swing to a Democrat.
Demographic changes in the State House: Based on how the new lines are drawn, as well as based on how the Democratic Primary contests are lining up in 2012, there will only be around 12-15 or so white Democrats left in the House after next November.
The DOJ’s decision to pre-clear the new maps essentially means there will be 38 GOP-performing Senate seats out of 56 Georgia Senate districts. This is also a Constitutional majority.
Demographic changes in the State Senate: For similar reasons as stated above, there will likely only be about six white Democrats left in the Senate after next November.
10 of 14 Congressional districts in Georgia are now Republican-leaning. Rep. John Barrow (D-somewhere new) is on the (really, really) endangered list. There will likely be no white Democrats left in Congress from Georgia, yet four African-American Democrats.
While a few of the state legislative seats will be competitive, and some districts over time will swing to the Democratic Party due to continued demographic changes (particularly in metro Atlanta, which both Chris Huttman and I have written about), it likely creates a scenario for a GOP majority in the legislature for the next decade.