Anti-gerrymandering reform lost in both California and Ohio. You might say it's time to take the fight to the courts--and there are valid constitutional arguments to be made, along Baker v. Carr lines, against partisan or pro-incumbent gerrymanders. But isn't it kind of difficult to argue that the courts need to intervene to make democracy fair after the voters, in a perfectly fair, non-gerrymandered state-wide election, have rejected the idea? This doesn't seem like a case of minority rights, where the majority's opinion shouldn't count. The vast majority of California voters are denied the chance to cast an effective ballot because they live in manipulated districts where the incumbent can't lose. They don't seem to care! Who are judges to tell them they should?I agree with the idea that the courts shouldn't step in on the issue - seems an obvious political question to me, which, as we know, the courts NEVER address. I also agree that the pro-reform side is worse-off - but then again, they haven't really been better off in a long time, if ever, have they? Shouldn't have tied the cause to this turkey of an election. Or that turkey of a "people's advocate" Ted Costa. Or Costa should've stayed out of this one. At any rate - let's blame Costa first, Schwarzenegger second.
In this sense, the pro-reform movement is arguably worse-off than if the voters had never been asked. ...
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Is Redistircting Reform Dead?
Via Election Law Blog, Mickey Kaus's take on yesterday's results and what they mean for redistricting reform efforts: