Professor Bainbridge links the text of the California anti-gerrymandering initiative. It looks more-or-less like a good idea to me, but the selection procedure for the “special masters” looks overly complicated. But, I suppose, that’s the way California politics works…
Today’s New York Times has a somewhat lengthy piece on efforts in various states to reform their redistricting processes. As far as I know, aside from various efforts to create majority-minority Supreme Court districts, there are no serious efforts to fix redistricting in Mississippi—an oversight that surely ought to be corrected.
And, Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters says plans for a redistricting initiative in California may potentially be hijacked by partisan interests, although Walters doesn’t do a very good job of explaining how—he just alleges that requiring the redistricting commission to create competitive districts might somehow favor Republicans. (þ: Rick Hasen).
Update: More on this theme from John Fund at OpinionJournal.com.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s plan to end redistricting as we know it in California may be hitting a snag; James Joyner notes that opposition has emerged among California’s Republican members of Congress who were gerrymandered into safe seats in the 2000 election and might have problems winning competitive elections due to the national GOP‘s position far to the right of the median California voter.
More details in today’s Los Angeles Times; meanwhile, Robert Tagorda looks at the redistricting politics on both sides of the aisle, while Kevin Drum denies he’s a hack but senses an opportune time to switch sides and support the Schwarzenegger plan nonetheless. At least Greg Wythe has been on the bandwagon all along ☺.
Incidentally, is anyone up for collecting nearly 110,000 signatures (12% of the number of votes cast in the 2003 gubernatorial race) in twelve months to qualify an initiative to do the same thing in Mississippi?
The lead editorial in today’s Clarion-Ledger calls on Mississippi to adopt a non-partisan redistricting panel to set congressional and state legislative districts, noting the mess resulting from the last redistricting round in 2001. As noted before, a initiative to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot would be a long-shot, but perhaps the prospect of another fight over congressional districts will get the legislature to consider adopting a non-partisan districting proposal.
The Clarion-Ledger also carries an article today looking at the wrangling over judicial redistricting and the defeat of Ed Blackmon’s “single-shot” districting bill.