A Reasonable Plan?
Due credit to Texas Republican State Sen. Jeff Wentworth for coming up with a reasonable plan that the Dallas Morning News and Autin-American Statesman have endorsed. From the Dallas Morning News:
The San Antonio Republican wants his colleagues to create an independent redistricting panel. Republicans would name four members to the body, and Democrats would name four. Those eight Texans would then select the all-important ninth member. Together, the group would draw the lines for Texas’ political boundaries in 2011 and every 10 years thereafter.
I think leaving the issue alone is still the wiser plan–there was a battle that ended up in the courts and a map was drawn; it’s over now and Republicans should move on. If you are conservative and don’t agree with that last sentence, think back to, say, November and December of 2000 and ask yourself whether you gave that very advice to any Democrats. Seriously, though, it’s a battle that should only be fought once every ten years, in accordance with the Constitution (“The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct”).
But if that’s simply not an option then Wentsworth’s plan is a good second best. One problem with the commission concept is that whatever districts they came up with would still end up in court. Enacting the commission idea might also require amending the Texas Constitution, in which case it’s unlikely the process could be completed before the 2004 elections.
P.S. For more, see the Burnt Orange Report.