Florida: Special Session for Redistricting Begins
With its congressional map tied up in the courts, legislators in Florida have convened a another special session to redraw state senate lines in an effort to head off court invalidation. It is scheduled to last three weeks and state news organizations report it is likely to be a contentious one. You can view the current districts and 6 proposed map that have been unveiled so far.
Ohio: Redistricting Ballot Measure Not as Sexy as Other Issues
Good government groups backing Ohio Ballot Issue 1 are up against widespread ignorance about the proposal. The measure, pushed by Fair Districts Ohio, would replace the current Ohio Apportionment Board, which consists of the Governor, the State Auditor, the Secretary of State and 2 appointees of the legislative leaders – with a seven-member, public commission, including two appointees from the minority party, to make the redistricting process fairer. A previous ballot measure failed in 2012 that would have created a fully independent redistricting commission.
A recent survey by the University of Akron’s Bliss Institute of Applied Politics indicates that 72% of prospective Ohio voters have not heard of the measure. The good news is they like the proposal when its explained to them.
Texas: Texas Redistricting Back to the Supreme Court?
Texas redistricting litigation is already a legal labyrinth and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton added yet another layer of convolution last week when he filed a writ of certiorari asking the Supreme Court to resolve the question of whether Texas owes legal fees for the redistricting litigation it was a defendant in. Texas was considered the losing party in lawsuits challenging its redistricting maps; a federal panel modified them, but the Supreme Court’s Shelby decision overturned the law that plaintiffs had sued Texas under. The Texas A.G. feels like a winner now and does not want to pony up any money. Read Paxton’s brief here.