Three of the most prominent anti-John Boehner rebels in the House of Representatives find their political futures under threat this summer as Republican state lawmakers prepare to redraw local congressional maps.
Different forces (and lawsuits) are at work in Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina, but the results could be the same for three Republicans who have challenged the House speaker this year. Reps. Dan Webster, Dave Brat, and Mark Meadows could all basically get drawn out of their jobs before the 2016 election.
There's a long way to go before any new maps are put into place: Florida's and Virginia's legislatures are in special sessions to redraw their maps after court decisions, and the Florida lawmakers have specific instructions not to take politics into consideration. Meanwhile, the North Carolina Supreme Court is still preparing to hear arguments in a gerrymandering lawsuit. But already, there have been enough signs to scare anti-establishment conservatives.
In Florida's new draft congressional map, Webster's district absorbs thousands of Democratic voters and turns into a majority-minority seat; Webster, who ran for speaker against Boehner in 2015, told legislators that the new district would be "impossible to win." Many Republicans in Virginia would like to do the same to Brat's district as they prepare a court-ordered redistricting little more than a year after Brat defeated ex-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a primary. (Brat also voted against Boehner for speaker this winter.) And in North Carolina, the GOP congressional delegation is packed with members who have experience and connections in the state legislature that may redraw their map — advantages that Meadows, who recently filed a motion to remove Boehner from power, does not have.