Skip to main content

The Alaska Supreme Court, in a split 3-2 decision, voted to adopt an "interim" redistricting plan it had already ruled unconstitutional for the 2012 election year.  The plan has now been sent to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for their approval.

Some entities are asking the Alaska Supreme Court to reconsider its decision.

Other entities are asking the Court to "stay" its decision pending DOJ action.

Citizens are commenting to DOJ regarding their opinions on the plan.

Meanwhile, though Alaskans have been put through numerous flip-flopping court decisions throughout the year, some as recent as last week for one region of the State, Southeast Alaska, the filing deadline for candidates, who have really no clue of their ultimate district in either a final or interim redistricting plan under litigation, is June 1st.

The Supreme Court, in its most recent decision, overruled its own directive to the Alaska Redistricting Board to draw a constitutional plan, that is one that is compact, contiguous plan keeping Boroughs whole and people with common socio-economic interests united.

The redistricting process in Alaska is deeply flawed.  Alaska is one of several states governed by the Voting Rights Act at the federal level.  At the State level, Alaska redistricting is governed by the Alaska Constitution.  Power to draw the lines is entrusted to a highly-partisan redistricting board.   Russ Millette (Paulite) newly elected Chair of the Alaska GOP was quoted in the Fairbanks News-Miner recently about former Alaska GOP Chair Randy Reudrich:

http://www.newsminer.com/...

“Randy Ruedrich to his credit shared this with me [says Russ Millette] … he had an influence in redistricting — not just he alone, but others had influence. … He said Bettye Davis, Bill Wielechowski and Hollis French have all been put in different districts,” he said of the Anchorage-area Democrats. “The way it was described to me, is those three senators are going to be bad memories in November.”
Bettye Davis, by the way, is Alaska's only African-American Senator and is a champion for women's health issues among other issues of justice and equality.

Native Democratic incumbents have been thrown under the bus in some parts of the state, Sen. Bryce Edgmon (D) for example, who has been paired with popular Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Gary Stevens (R) from Kodiak, while in Southeast Alaska, districts have been gerry-mandered to protect the incumbent Republican, Rep. Bill Thomas.  

Alaskans, supporting a constitutional plan that also protects minority rights, oppose any plan, for Alaska, interim or final, that is not based on one person, one vote and does not protect socio-economic integration and minority interests to the maximum extent possible.  The interim plan now before the Department of Justice sacrifices socio-economic integration, regional interests and minority voting power all to protect the interests of partisan incumbents.  The plan should not be approved.

The partisan Redistricting Board's game plan in Alaska has been to draw one illegal plan after another, while at the same time securing initial VRA (Voting Rights Act) preclearance.  And then to run down the clock to election filing deadline date.

The Alaska Courts have ruled all the plans to date unconstitutional.  At the same time, the Alaska Supreme court is ordering Alaskans to use the Board's unconstitutional plans as an "interim" plan for 2012, while litigation continues.  

Alternative plans, that also preserve Native voting power to the extent possible, but that also conform to the Alaska constitution have been ignored by the Redistricting Board.  Only State plans have standing before DOJ.  A serious flaw in the process is that alternative plans, even though they may be both constitutional and comply with the federal VRA, have little standing before the state court or DOJ, if the Redistricting Board chooses to ignore them.

This leaves Alaskans with an "interim" redistricting plan that has already been ruled unconstitutional by Alaska courts and is vigorously opposed by many within Alaska.

Will the U.S. Department of Justice stand up for justice in Alaska?  Stay tuned.

 

Poll

Will DOJ reject Alaska's plan and stand up for justice for its citizens?

42%6 votes
42%6 votes
14%2 votes
0%0 votes

| 14 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site