Congressional and legislative redistricting is in the spotlight as we move closer to the next round of reapportionment that will follow on the heels of the 2020 federal census. What could be a landmark challenge of a partisan legislative redistricting plan in Wisconsin is now before a divided U.S. Supreme Court. Early hints suggest Justice Anthony Kennedy may tip the court toward a breakthrough ruling striking down excessively partisan redistricting plans. That could be a game-changer, although the court faces a difficult challenge in determining and defining what might be considered to be excessive.
It’s a reminder of what Justice Potter Stewart said when he struggled to define obscenity in a 1964 Supreme Court case about pornography: “I know it when I see it.”
Two proposals to reform Nebraska’s redistricting process are waiting in committee when the Legislature reconvenes in January.
Both are designed to distance the Legislature from the initial process of drawing the boundaries of proposed new districts by assigning that task to a citizens commission, but final authority for constructing new districts would remain in the Legislature’s hands.