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Originally posted to zillion on Sat Jan 17, 2004 at 06:14 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  strange. (none)
    Can anyone from Arizona fill in some background on this.  It sounds like Arizona passed a state constitutional amendment that created an independent comission to set district lines that "are generally equal in population and "geographically compact and contiguous" and that "respect communities of interest" to the extent possible".  Then the judge steps in and invalidates the map because there aren't enough "theoretically" competitive districts?  There just must be a step in this that I am missing.  What the judge says was wrong with the map and what the article says that the constitution stipulates just don't seem to cross over at all.
    •  "respect communities of interest" (none)
      If the AZ constitutional amendment instructs its redistricting commission to "respect communities of interest"-- and who knows what else it says?-- I can see how a judge might construe an imperative to create competition where possible (and to give Latinos a chance to elect a Latino candidate where possible); if there are 20 ways to slice AZ into a given number of compact equal districts, and I bet there are more than 20, the redistricting commission has to at least try to make some of those districts competitive. (How many of those districts? How competitive?) Anyone know the makeup of their flawed commission? Iowa and Oregon, I'm told, have similar commissions and do it right.

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