Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Killing the Florida Gerrymanders: September 2015 Edition

The slower-than-it-needs-to-be struggle over fixing the Congressional districts and eliminating those damned gerrymanders is circling the last leg of this twisted marathon, as per the Tampa Bay Times:

...Judge Terry Lewis will decide which of the seven maps proposed to him by the GOP-controlled House and Senate, or the variations on those maps drawn by the challengers, will emerge as the final political boundaries voters will see in the November 2016 elections...
...When lawmakers tried and failed to resolve their differences in an August special session, the court threw it back to Lewis, who had been supervising the case that has cost taxpayers more than $8 million for the last 3½ years.
The challengers, a coalition of League of Women Voters and Common Cause of Florida and a group of Democrat-leaning individuals, told the court in closing arguments that they agree with 20 of the 27 districts proposed in a staff-drawn base map but want the court to adopt their changes to the remaining districts.
Also changed is the fact that because lawmakers erred, they now have the burden of proof to show that the maps they have drawn do not violate the anti-gerrymandering provisions of the Florida Constitution and comply with the guidelines set by the Supreme Court...

That last paragraph tells me that we may still see another round of bickering, this time from the Republican side of things who'll try to use the amendments to their advantage by nitpicking as much as possible to prolong and delay well into the 2016 election cycle, making it less likely we'll see better districts by that election cycle.

The desire to see the courts just f-ck with district drawings and just change the whole damn thing to Proportional seating would be sweet... but it would bring up the problem of actual judicial activism and legislating from the bench.  Then again, our actual legislators are not doing a damn thing.

I hope instead Judge Lewis dumps the Florida Republican Legislature maps into the nearest dumpster and go with a straight-out, easy-to-read map with streamlined, geographically sane, density-based districts we're supposed to have.

And thus endeth September.  Who's up for October to be any crazier?


dinthebeast said...

Well, it could be the October of the Cooperative Boner, so maybe? I'd wonder how much crazier it could actually get, but I'm really scared that I'd find out...

-Doug in Oakland

Paul Wartenberg said...

Well for starters I'm going to make a drinking game for the Democratic debate in October.

...I have to, in the interests of fairness. Granted, I can't do much with just six candidates, five of whom are relatively sane. BUT IT'S THE EFFORT THAT COUNTS.

dinthebeast said...

I'm sure your efforts will be appreciated, but how can one be even relatively sane and want to be POTUS? Let alone believe they could (or should) be?

-Doug in Oakland