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:

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?

In this sense, the pro-reform movement is arguably worse-off than if the voters had never been asked. ...
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.


doughnut70 said...

The legislature claims they are going to make a proposal for the June ballot to reform the process. I am very skeptical and view this as another step by legislative leadership to try and cater to their elite donor base, but that is just my opinion. I also have a suspicion that they will try and package a reform measure with an end to term limits which wouldn't be as bad, but to be honest, I would resent the cynicism present in such a move.

cd said...

I doubt we'll get meaningful reform out of the legislature in the next few years.

What cynicism is present in ending or changing term limits. I don't have extensive experience in the building, but from what I've seen, term limits have botched the place and good. And have led to crap like this special election. And will eventually lead to the part-time legislature because they can't do anything with so much rampant inexperience.

Also - you haven't confirmed your real life initials for me. i don't reveal real names if they are confided in me - but i'm still piecing together bits of your other hins as to your identity. so drop your initials here or email me (link in the sidebar)