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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Martin Luther King, Jr./Inauguration Day Open Thread (272 comments)

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  •  It doesn't say they can't (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, LordMike

    just that they have to do it once every ten years.

    •  I'm a lawyer and the challenge is strong (5+ / 0-)

      Reading and interpreting statutory language is part of my everyday job, and reading a state constitution provision is not much different than reading a statute.

      It's not clear-cut, but there is a strong case that the provision's plain meaning is that once per decade is a firm limit.

      You're saying the provision requires redistricting "at least" once per decade, but no limit on how often.

      A court would have to look at the origins of this provision of the state constitution, but on its face it looks like a firm limit.  The term "shall" is a command, and the best legal reading, the one I would make if a lawyer giving advice to a client on the most likely meaning of the law, is that the rest of the language imposes the boundaries for frequency of redistricting.  Those boundaries are firm on both sides, both as a floor and a ceiling.  That there was a violation of what year this decade's redistricting was done isn't the same thing, because while it was a clear violation there was no remedy of a time machine to go back and fix it, and a redistricting was still required even if done late.

      But the legal argument allowing the 2012 redistricting doesn't apply to a mid-decade re-map.

      Your argument is potentially legally supportable, but it's the weaker argument.

      I'd challenge this in court for sure if the Governor signs it.

      44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:08:19 PM PST

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      •  The question would be... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        ...since the new map did not yet go into effect for the Senate (i.e. since there was no election yet in the new boundaries), would this "correction" be allowed to stand , because one can keep "tinkering" with a map all the way up to the election in which it goes into effect.  Only after that election is it "locked" until the next redistricting?

        GODSPEED TO THE WISCONSIN FOURTEEN!

        by LordMike on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:37:08 PM PST

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        •  Under what law must there be an election... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LordMike, MichaelNY, James Allen

          ...for the new map to be "in effect"?  I see the logic of your argument, but it's not a legal argument with some kind of law, whether a constitution or a statute or case law, to say that matters.

          The current map was passed and signed and cleared by DOJ, there is nothing that prevents it from being used, it has no legal or practical vulnerabilities that bring it into question.

          And there is nothing in that state constitution provision that says that a map duly signed into law can be rewritten just because it hasn't been "used" yet.  There's no language that I can see being interpreted that way.

          44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

          by DCCyclone on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:49:03 PM PST

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          •  Thank you! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            I wanted your expert opinion!  That's the only real loophole I could see the GOP using in their defense.  Thanks for shutting it down!

            GODSPEED TO THE WISCONSIN FOURTEEN!

            by LordMike on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:51:59 PM PST

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          •  I thought the maps used in 2011 were the (4+ / 0-)

            ones passed in the bipartisan compromise after the census.  Is that not right?  IIRC one state senator who lost by just a few hundred votes intentionally had heavily black precincts moved out of his district because he was more worried about a primary challenge...

            NC-06/NC-04; -9.12, -8.62; Yellow Dog Democrat

            by sawolf on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:58:03 PM PST

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            •  That's what I was unsure of... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY, DCCyclone

              If the maps had already been used, then I don't see what argument they would be able to use in court, other than, "The constitution only says we have to do one every year... it doesn't mean we can't do it more times as well."

              GODSPEED TO THE WISCONSIN FOURTEEN!

              by LordMike on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:05:12 PM PST

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            •  Duh, yes, which I'm embarrassed I forgot... (0+ / 0-)

              ...in this discussion earlier, since I live here and was personally affected by the map in the 2011 election by having a new state Senator to vote for, the previous moved out of my precinct.

              44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

              by DCCyclone on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 08:41:35 AM PST

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          •  I just saw this part... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, DCCyclone
            Any such decennial reapportionment law shall take effect immediately and not be subject to the limitations contained in Article IV, Section 13, of this Constitution.
            That's a pretty clear closed loophole...

            GODSPEED TO THE WISCONSIN FOURTEEN!

            by LordMike on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:09:49 PM PST

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            •  Seems clearly illegal to me. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              And assuming the map is struck down, it could seriously backfire on them in November.

              24, Practical Progressive Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut. Defeat Wacky Jackie for 2014!

              by HoosierD42 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 09:28:57 PM PST

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