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Thread: Texas Redistricting Plan Thrown Out by Court

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    Re: Texas Redistricting Plan Thrown Out by Court

    The rules should be applied to all states, not just southern states.
    Agree...let the people dictate their representatives not lines on a map.

    I also agree with you on the minority districts. Honestly, if a district has 40% latino's or blacks and the district is up for grabs (not a safe seat do to gerrymandering) then you better believe whoever runs will pander to either the blacks or latino's because they can't win without them.

    The only reason we need laws protecting minorities currently is they are sticking latino's in "safe" districts where the politicians just ignore them because they don't need their votes.
    Last edited by iliveonramen; 11-10-11 at 06:09 PM.
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    Re: Texas Redistricting Plan Thrown Out by Court

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Who wants to pay for policing the ****ty part of town, that's just being blunt.
    I'm more than sure that race has very little to do with it.
    Like I said, I don't really care what the various motives at play are. Trying to enforce a policy based on motive failed for 90 years straight. The only thing that has actually worked is to look at the effects instead.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    The rules should be applied to all states, not just southern states.
    They do. Most of the VRA applies to every state. Section 5 is the part that requires states to submit any proposed change in advance to either the DoJ or the courts so that they can approve or reject it based on whether it would disenfranchise minorities. That section does not apply to all states. The way that works is that Congress defines standards for voting practices that get you on the list. Initially it applied only to states that had literacy tests and less than 50% voter turnout in the 1964 election. Then over time Congress has updated the test periodically to include the worst offenders. For example, a jurisdiction that has over 10% of the population that doesn't speak English, which provides ballots only in English goes on the list now. The states on the list are not all in the south. California, Arizona, Alaska, Michigan, South Dakota, New York and New Hampshire are all section 5 states too.

    To get off the list a state needs to go 10 years without being shown in court to have been discriminating with regards to minority voting. That is harder than it sounds though. There is usually one jackass somewhere in the state every few years that screws it up by trying to prevent black people from voting at the polling place he is running or something.

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    Re: Texas Redistricting Plan Thrown Out by Court

    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonramen View Post
    Agree...let the people dictate their representatives not lines on a map.

    I also agree with you on the minority districts. Honestly, if a district has 40% latino's or blacks and the district is up for grabs (not a safe seat do to gerrymandering) then you better believe whoever runs will pander to either the blacks or latino's because they can't win without them.

    The only reason we need laws protecting minorities currently is they are sticking latino's in "safe" districts where the politicians just ignore them because they don't need their votes.
    Yeah, that's more or less where the courts are heading. They used to say that you had to preserve districts that were over 50% minority. Now they're more inclines to look at whether minorities can effectively influence the elections in those districts. So, they're trying to prevent exactly what you're talking about- splitting up a community of minorities in small numbers in overwhelmingly white, Republican, districts so they basically can be ignored.

    The conservative justices on the court push for the 50% rule, the liberal ones push for the effective representation approach. At present the conservatives are the majority on the supreme court, but the liberals are steadily managing to chip away at their 50% rule.

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    Re: Texas Redistricting Plan Thrown Out by Court

    The states all do this. The power in charge during the census always redraws lines that try to unfairly give that party an advantage. Democrats are just as guilty of gerrymandering.
    Last edited by digsbe; 11-10-11 at 06:25 PM.
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    Re: Texas Redistricting Plan Thrown Out by Court

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    The states all do this. The power in charge during the census always redraws lines that try to unfairly give that party an advantage. Democrats are just as guilty of gerrymandering.
    Yeah, absolutely. The case isn't about gerrymandering in general though. You can legally gerrymander. It's when you try to gerrymander minority groups out of having an effective vote that you run afoul of the voting rights act.

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    Re: Texas Redistricting Plan Thrown Out by Court

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Yeah... Maybe... That's one of those ideas I like in principle, but when you dig into the details it's trickier... Like some ways you can design a computer program dramatically tend to favor Republicans, other ways tend to dramatically favor Democrats. For example, Democrats tend to be more concentrated in cities. Some approaches computer programs use end up being way more favorable for the party that is more concentrated, some for the party that is less. Or maybe in key swing states Democrats tend to be more concentrated if you split the state up on east to west bands and Republicans if you split it up on north to south bands or whatever. A neutral sounding logic for how to split them up still has dramatic effects on election results, and the parties are very keenly aware of what those are, so picking a program is basically just gerrymandering all over again, but this time with a more complicated set of tools.
    I would be okay with a rules-based districting system. I would allow anyone to propose a district map. Rate the proposal on 1) total linear length of the district lines. Favor shorter district lines, which indicates that the district in enclosed with the most efficient border. Also, favor district lines that correspond to existing political divisions within the state, such as county and township lines. Allow anyone to propose a districting map and select the one in which 1) the districts are even in population, 2) the district lines follow as much as possible the existing political boundaries, and 3) has the highest district area to perimeter ratio. What ever proposal best matches the rules, gets accepted.

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    Re: Texas Redistricting Plan Thrown Out by Court

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Yeah, absolutely. The case isn't about gerrymandering in general though. You can legally gerrymander. It's when you try to gerrymander minority groups out of having an effective vote that you run afoul of the voting rights act.
    Minorities tend to vote Democrat. Is it ok to violate the rights of white rural areas that go Republican?
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    Re: Texas Redistricting Plan Thrown Out by Court

    Quote Originally Posted by Centinel View Post
    I would be okay with a rules-based districting system. I would allow anyone to propose a district map. Rate the proposal on 1) total linear length of the district lines. Favor shorter district lines, which indicates that the district in enclosed with the most efficient border. Also, favor district lines that correspond to existing political divisions within the state, such as county and township lines. Allow anyone to propose a districting map and select the one in which 1) the districts are even in population, 2) the district lines follow as much as possible the existing political boundaries, and 3) has the highest district area to perimeter ratio. What ever proposal best matches the rules, gets accepted.
    That's a really good set of rules. Justice Stevens pushed for something similar at one point. But it has some weird effects. It forces the map makers to basically try to include a bit of city in each district because otherwise they end up with these sprawling rural districts. So, in some places that is a huge win for the Democrats, in others it is a huge win for the Republicans.

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    Re: Texas Redistricting Plan Thrown Out by Court

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    That's a really good set of rules. Justice Stevens pushed for something similar at one point. But it has some weird effects. It forces the map makers to basically try to include a bit of city in each district because otherwise they end up with these sprawling rural districts. So, in some places that is a huge win for the Democrats, in others it is a huge win for the Republicans.
    what is the down side of having sprawling voting districts?
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    Re: Texas Redistricting Plan Thrown Out by Court

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    That's a really good set of rules. Justice Stevens pushed for something similar at one point. But it has some weird effects. It forces the map makers to basically try to include a bit of city in each district because otherwise they end up with these sprawling rural districts. So, in some places that is a huge win for the Democrats, in others it is a huge win for the Republicans.
    Thanks.

    Another option would be to entirely dump the idea of districts and have "at large" elections for congressmen. This would allow minorities to pool their votes, no matter where they live within a state.

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