After the decade census, states perform population redistricting, associated with the new census, to plan for upcoming mid term elections.

Let’s put redistricting back in the hands of politicians

by Hugh Hewitt,
from The Washington Post,

The court’s reluctance to touch on political questions has been only slightly less pronounced on redistricting cases. The court has generally abided by two rules: The one-person/one-vote doctrine that the court decreed in 1964 profoundly changed redistricting by requiring all similar districts to begin every decade with the same number of people. That was followed by a subsequent line of cases generally banishing the use of race in the drawing of electoral district lines.

Gerrymandering is rampant everywhere these days, as it is every 10 years. Democrats have thumped Republicans in the line-drawing wars in Illinois and will soon do so in New York, as they have before in Maryland and Massachusetts. Republicans are repaying the favors in Texas, Florida and Ohio. But, in a twist, state supreme courts are so far bearing down on maps that favor the GOP. Ohio’s Supreme Court just overturned a plan for the state legislative districts drawn up by that state’s new independent commission, and did so on a 4-to-3 vote of elected justices. The same court then tossed a map of the Buckeye State’s congressional districts done the old-fashioned way — by the legislature. In both cases, maps that favored Republicans were struck down. North Carolina also produced new maps via its state legislature. Though a special court upheld those maps on a unanimous vote, the North Carolina Supreme Court (which leans Democratic) will review those findings.

The way out? Strike down the independent commissions and fence off these line-drawing controversies from state courts. Return redistricting to where it ought to reside: with state legislatures, leaving behind only two rules: One person, one vote; no use of race in drawing lines. The chips, and lines, will fall where elected officials draw them as intended by the Framers and the 14th Amendment.

More From The Washington Post (subscription required):

365 Days Page
Comment ( 0 )