Some Georgia state lawmakers could be out of a job, thanks to a court-ordered district map. This has pulled the carpet out from underneath many lawmakers' feet. This is the first time anything like this has ever happened, and lawmakers are trying to get over the shock of this sudden decision.
Since legislators couldn't make the deadline for redrawing their districts, the federal courts did it for them. Now some of the most influential politicians in the state could be facing off for their political lives.
In our region, Sen. Eric Johnson (R - Savannah), who leads the Senate, currently has a meandering coastal district next to the Third District of veteran Hinesville Democrat, Sen. Rene Kemp.
The current Fourth District is held by Sen. Jack Hill (R - Reidsville), who chairs the Appropriations Committee. Westward is the current 20th District of Democratic Sen. Hugh Gillis of Soperton, who's a 54-year veteran of the General Assembly.
But under the new plan, Johnson and Kemp are thrown together in a district with a decided majority of voters who've been represented in the past by Sen. Johnson. Likewise, Senators Gillis and Hill are tossed into one district, made up mostly of counties in Hill's current district.
Unlike plans drawn by the legislators, these plans do not have to be approved by the US Department of Justice, so this is pretty much a done deal. And it doesn't leave legislators much time to make decisions about their political futures, because they have qualify by the last week of April.