The Utica Observer-Dispatch has a forceful editorial today on the need for independent redistricting commissions in New York. In last week's LULAC decision, the Supreme Court refrained from invalidating Tom Delay's infamous mid-decade redrawing of congressional lines in Texas. The Brennan Center was disappointed that the Court missed an opportunity to, ahem, draw some lines on the permissibility of partisan redistricting. But just because they were not found to be unconstitutional doesn't mean that Delay-style schemes are good policy. Without an institutional structure to ensure nonpartisan redistricting, the Observer-Dispatch points out, states can expect partisanship to reign -- and electoral competition and accountability to suffer. As Justice Scalia once observed, "the first instinct of power is the retention of power." New York still has time before the 2010 Census to safeguard the state's political boundaries from a self-interested power-play.
Categories: General, Redistricting