GA Supreme Court: Legislature Can Redistrict When It Wants

The Georgia Supreme Court has unanimously thrown out the challenge to Senate District 46. The Court said that as long as the latest census figures are used, the General Assembly can redistrict as much as it likes.

Here’s the link (PDF).

Money quote:

Thus, as was the case under the 1976 Constitution, so long as the latest census figures are used, nothing in Art. III, Sec. II, Par. II [of the Georgia Constitution] unequivocally prevents the General Assembly from apportioning contiguous territory into Senate and House districts as frequently as a majority of its members determines is expedient.

17 comments

  1. atlantaman says:

    “The Court said that as long as the latest census figures are used, the General Assembly can redistrict as much as it likes.”

    I never realized this point was even up for debate.

  2. atlantaman says:

    I know you were trying to be funny, but the Judges followed the Georgia law in this case. What would have been activist is if the Court had ignored the constitution and created their own law by allowing the challenge to go forward.

  3. Decaturguy says:

    Wow, there sure are some wild eyed liberal activist judges on that Georgia Supreme Court, I tell ya. Enough so that I think we ought to elect that crackpot Mike Wiggins to the Court.

  4. RuralDem says:

    So when can we expect everyone to call out the activist judges? Oh I forgot, they’re only activist when they rule in a way that some don’t like.

    I really don’t know if this is a good thing or bad thing. It seems to me that it would be good for both parties, because when control switches the controlling party can easily redistrict. However, the citizens would suffer because of the constant use of redistricting to give the majority party an advantage.

    Appears to be a win-lose situation with the citizens of Georgia losing.

  5. Adam says:

    I see a lot of cries (not necessarily on Peach Pundit, but around the internets at large) for non-partisan commissions to be in charge of redistricting. The goal would obviously be to eliminate gerrymandering. What do the smart folks here think are the pros and cons to that idea?

  6. CobbGOPer says:

    Adam,

    Who gets to decide who sits on the “non-partisan” commission? The Governor? The General Assembly?

    The people? Well, we see how well “non-partisan” races go, just ask Hunstein and Wiggins.

    It inevitably becomes a partisan process in some form or another, so might as well leave it within the constitutional provision and keep redistricting the purview of the General Assembly.

    And if Democrats don’t like it, tough. You should spend some money trying to win back the General Assembly, instead of throwing it all at a quixotic candidate for Governor.

  7. JP says:

    Adam and Atlantaman – I would call this a case of pacifist judges, judges who should have acted but did not. There should be an independent review of redistricting, there is no excuse for blatantly carving up the state into party-friendly districts–and if that’s how one’s party has to act to create a majority, that’s a pretty sad statement isn’t it? Should you not be able to win in the honest battlefield of ideas?

  8. CobbGOPer says:

    Exactly, Jeff. Their job is to INTERPRET the law with regards to the state constitution, and they interpreted correctly this time.

    Like I said earlier, if you have a problem with the way redistricting is done, go elect yourself a majority in the General Assembly and change the constitution.

  9. atlantaman says:

    “there is no excuse for blatantly carving up the state into party-friendly districts–and if that’s how one’s party has to act to create a majority, that’s a pretty sad statement isn’t it? Should you not be able to win in the honest battlefield of ideas?”

    A Judge’s job is not to arbitrarily decide what his/her opinion of fair is, it’s to look at the Constitution written by your Democrat buddies and determine what the law is. The reason it was unanimous is that it’s a no-brianer.

    The candidates still have to compete on the battlefield of ideas, Kidd’s district just has fewer people who lean towards one set of ideas. Kidd still has every right to convince people who have voted Republican in the past to now vote for her.

    It’s not like when the Democrat’s were in charge and they dishonestly packed the Republican districts with more people – they got greedy and got into trouble on unequal representation.

  10. Bull Moose says:

    Okay, I’m in total disagreement to this ruling…

    Redistricting should take place once every ten years period…

    I’m sick and tired of it being used as a political tool…

  11. Jeff says:

    Go figure the GA supreme court would be one of the court’s that is trying to bring Jim Crow back to life. Fake Jeff, thank god we have expansionist judges like the ones we have seen in the past decades. You know the ones that make “extra-consitutional” decisions. Many Americans would not be able to enjoy the freedoms they have today if it were not for judges being intelligent, innovative, and flexible. I know you are in disagreement though, and whether you know it or not, your beliefs are controlled by what your party can sell. Not freedom and love, but only fear and hate.

  12. JP says:

    “A Judge’s job is not to arbitrarily decide what his/her opinion of fair is, it’s to look at the Constitution written by your Democrat buddies and determine what the law is. The reason it was unanimous is that it’s a no-brianer.”

    I’m not arguing the constitution supports a change; I’m stating it’s a shame it doesn’t. What we have now is a system manipulated nationwide by the party in power, and I don’t care if THAT is allowed or even encouraged in so many words in the Constitution, it’s still flat wrong.

  13. atlantaman says:

    “Okay, I’m in total disagreement to this ruling…

    Redistricting should take place once every ten years period…”

    Here is the problem. You shouldn’t be in disagreement with the ruling you should be in disagreement with the law…there is a big difference.

    Judges are not supposed to be philosophers.

    If you’ve got a problem with the law, then form a group and make an issue out of it. Take you issue to the people not the Judges. When legislators play too many games with the lines it can backfire. Many people believe multi-member districts and gross gerrymandering was a contributing factor to Barnes’ downfall.

    Personally I think in the big world of gerrymandering this Cowsert stuff is child’s play.

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