June 29, 2015 Supreme Court of the US: Decision
Independent Redistricting Commission
The court’s legal analysis in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission was something of a reach. But the ruling’s practical implications are unequivocally positive. Gerrymandering deprives voters of genuine choice and encourages extreme partisanship, since many incumbents have to worry more about challenges from their flanks than from the other party. Now that the justices have given their approval, voters and courageous state leaders should work to limit or eliminate politicians’ ability to fix voting maps to their advantage.
LWVUS – Leagues and Redistricting Reform – 2014 The League of Women Voters of Florida was the lead organizational plaintiff in the lawsuit, as well as a driving force behind the Fair Districts Amendments coalition. The judge, in his opinion, noted the League’s leadership in the case. The League of Women Voters of California was instrumental in forming a citizen-led independent redistricting commission in 2011.
Further redistricting and apportionment studies in the US are here.
LWVCA – Redistricting California
The Citizens Redistricting Commission set up by the passage of California’s Proposition 11 in 2008 took input from citizens to help decide how to draw the lines for the state legislature, congress and the state Board of Equalization. They divided up the state into 9 regions and held two or more input meetings in each region. They then drew first drafts of the maps and went back out into the regions to get reactions of citizens.
Their intent was to draw a second draft of the maps and again receive public input on them. However the volume of input on the first draft was so large that the time schedule did not allow this to be done. The final maps were released July 29, 2011 and became official on August 15, 2011.
See the commission’s web site for much more, including video archives of previous meetings and visualizations of maps in the form of Google maps, which can be zoomed down to the street level.