Saturday, May 30, 2015

How to End Gerrymandering

Anne Kim wrote in Ten Miles Square, How to End Gerrymandering

"For the last three Congresses, [Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN)] has sponsored bipartisan legislation that would reform the way state legislatures draw their Congressional districts. One proposal he’s sponsoring this Congress would require states to appoint ‘independent redistricting commissions’ to take over the task of drawing district boundaries. A second proposal would make the redistricting process more transparent and allow public comment on proposed district maps.

A handful of states have already adopted independent commissions of the type proposed in Cooper’s bill. However, these commissions are also under challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court. In particular, the court is examining the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, created by a voter referendum in 2000. The Court’s ruling could have far-reaching implication for the handful of other states that have opted independent redistricting, such as California and Idaho.

Redistricting reform, Cooper says, is the only way to break the gridlock that he sees too often paralyzing Washington."

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