Worth Noting

The U.S. Supreme Court today voted 7-3 that state legislatures can redistrict whenever their hearts desire. My friend Crank at RedState notes from that opinion:

the line of the day must go to Chief Justice Roberts, discussing Texas’ need to draw race-minded district lines to comply with the Voting Rights Act: “It is a sordid business, this divvying us up by race.

8 comments

  1. Bull Moose says:

    In my opinion, this is horse mess. Redistricting should not be abused as a political tool by either party. State legislature should move redistricting out of their pervue and into an independent commission similar to Iowa.

    I’m sick and tired of politics as usual and as much as I trust and respect our state legislative leaders to do the right thing, I’m not willing to continue the increasing decline in voter participation as a result of political gerrymandered districts.

    You can say what you want, but these partisan gerrymandered districts are what have caused so many people to tune out politics and relegate it to the level that it is today.

    Put redistricting in the hands of an independent commission once and for all and be done with the game that goes on now.

    I would like to know what our elected leaders of both parties think of that. Redistricting should only exist once a year and the only way to ensure that is to take it out of the hands of politicians.

  2. Bill Simon says:

    Bull,

    It’s nice to “want” a way to do things. It’s quite another to be able to do them. I believe the Constitution dictates WHO is responsible for re-apportionment and re-districting.

  3. Bull Moose says:

    I believe that it would take a Georgia Constitutional Amendment and if our State Senators and Representatives were serious about public service, they would without hesitation propose such an amendment.

    It works for Iowa and it could work for us.

    I literally shudder at the idea of ongoing redistricting… It’s destabilizing to our democracy.

  4. Senator Eric Johnson says:

    Bull, if we couldn’t redistrict except once every 10 years, how would Georgia have fixed the brutally partisan gerrymander that violated the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution?

    And, if this so-called “independent” commission draws the map, who appoints them? It’s an ugly process – granted – but welcome to democracy. Seriously – who appoints a Commission? And, if drawn randomly from the phone book, who says they don’t have idealogical preferences? It sounds good in theory…..but…..

  5. Bull Moose says:

    The Commission could be made up of Senior Judges appointed by the Governor, House Leadership, and Senate Leadership. The plan devised by this commission would be submitted to the State Legislature for an up or down vote. If voted down, the plan is sent back to the Commission for tweaking.

    What happened with Georgia most recently is another reason why redistricting should be in the hands of an independent commission and not politicians with alterior motives in drawing district lines.

    The prescedent in Texas opens the door for district lines to literally be changed almost every couple of years based on who holds the majority in the State Legislature.

    That’s a very frightening prescedent.

  6. Senator Eric Johnson says:

    Bull,
    By your own admission, politics remain with the commission since politicians make the appointments. I understand and sympathize (as a victim of partisan gerrymandering), but remain skeptical that yours is the solution.

    And, BTW, what was done wrong in recent redrawing? The congressional map is a clear improvement by any person except Stevie Wonder and the legislative maps were basically drawn by a 3-judge federal panel (and could have been completely redrawn, but weren’t).

  7. Bull Moose says:

    The new district lines were much better, but that is an answer for today. What happens when the public mood shifts and party control shifts and new lines drawn are with partisan favor toward the other party and Republicans are again crying foul.

    I would think that a good move, once and for all, would be to put redistricting in the hands of a commission. It works for Iowa and it could work well for Georgia.

    My concerns are not so much based on what has happened here in Georgia, but rather as a result of this Supreme Court decision. Essentially, if a state legislature wanted, it could redraw lines everytime party control of the legislature changes. That’s destabalizing and will only weaken our democracy.

    With voter participation so low, it would seem incumbent upon someone to be concerned and be doing something to encourage democratic participation through voting to increase.

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