News Recap 05-19 to 06-18

2010-05-19 FL Legislature competes with redistricting initiatives.
"That means the measure – HJR 7231 – will appear on the ballot as
Amendment 7. The redistricting amendments pushed by FairDistrictsFlorida.org
are Amendment 5 and Amendment 6."

2010-05-20 TampaBay.com
"Unfettered by party, independent Crist backs constitutional ban on
gerrymandering" That would be formerly Republican Governor, Charlie Crist.

2010-05-20 Orlando Sentinel Proponents of 5 and 6 complain about placement of 7 that could cause confusion

2010-05-21 Orlando Sentinel NAACP, LWV, and others cry foul over 7.

2010-05-22 and then they file suit:
"They filed a lawsuit in Tallahassee on Friday that asks a circuit court judge
to knock off the ballot a proposed constitutional amendment that the
GOP-controlled Legislature approved the last day of the session."

2010-05-25 Orlando Sentinel
In what looks like a tit-for-tat move, U.S. Reps. Corrine Brown,
D-Jacksonville, and Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami "have filed a lawsuit
challenging the Fair Districts constitutional amendments headed to voters this
fall, claiming the congressional redistricting proposal would not afford
enough protection to minorities."
I think that'd be covered by the old Voting Rights Act, as usual.
2010-05-26 Diaz-Balart criticizes FL citizen initiative 6
"Amendment 6 is riddled with inconsistencies and, if passed,
would set unworkable standards in drawing districts," said Diaz-Balart, a
four-term congressman who served 14 years in the Legislature.
I kinda agree.

2010-05-31 Longish article about arguments on both sides, 5,6 vs 7.

2010-05-25 OH HJR 15
"House Joint Resolution 15, a plan to revamp how state legislative districts
are drawn, was approved on a 7-6 party-line vote by the House Elections and
Ethics Committee."

2010-05-29 Examiner.com
"The measure in question, HJR 15, sponsored by Democrats Tom Letson of Warren
and Jennifer Garrison of Marietta, passed 69-28 with the help of 17
Republicans, some of whom expressed their strong concerns in comments made
from the floor."
"Senate Joint Resolution 5, a similarly focused measure sponsored by State
Send. Jon Husted (R-Kettering) that was passed by the Senate in September of
last year,"

2010-06-02 Marietta Times
"The House version is a version that is a mathematical formula and considers
representational fairness and political competitiveness, keeping
municipalities and counties together,"

2010-06-04 ohio.com and Columbus Dispatch note apparent failure in current political process.
Current negotiations failed, but "GOP State Sen. Jon Husted (HYOO'-sted), the
top proponent of redistricting, pledges to keep working on an agreement before
an August deadline for placing the issue on the November ballot."

2010-06-12 Akron Law Café blog on competing redistricting reforms in Ohio.

2010-05-24 Rose Report
Analysis of California case suggesting that redistricting criteria in their
laws may be weak and without teeth.

2010-06-14 CA commission winnowing down to 622 (press release)
2010-06-16 Rose Report on the selection of the CA comission

HB4650 would adjust prison populations back to their prior home addresses.
(seen at http://www.prisonersofthecensus.org/news/2010/05/17/danville/)

S7881 proposed. See my analysis of NY S7881.

2010-05-19 Long Island Exchange and Capital Tonight and Lawkipedia.com cover "S.1614A, sponsored by Senators Dave Valesky and Craig Johnson" which is also credited to Bill Samuels for pushing it.

There has been lots of misc blogging on Prop 50, mostly in favor. I should read the measure. 2010-05-27 NPR story on Oregon Prop 50.
Oregon Prop 50 bill text

2010-06-15 Blog muses on Obama justice department influence on 2011 redistricting.
"Since the passage of VRA, the Texas Legislature has undertaken redistricting five times, in '71, '81, '91, '01, and '03. At each of these times, the White House - and therefore the Justice Department - was controlled by Republicans."

US Congress
H.R.4918 "Redistricting Transparency Act of 2010" proposed. It's a transparency act. Actual change requires public shame of bad plans. H.R.4918 bill text

Party fight
Redistricting Majority Project "A Program of the Republican State Leadership Committee"
Advocating for a Republican Party naked power grab via redistricting.
They note the FL 5,6 vs 7 situation, and assert guilt-by-association of the 5,6 people.

2010-06-18 NAACP Legal Defence Fund skeptical of "so-called Independent Redistricting Commissions". They seem to see a risk of these commissions becoming unaccountable and potentially creating racially charged maps. Discussion of Voting Rights Act and racial gerrymandering.

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