A House panel approved a change in the redistricting process that, if ratified by voters, could have the lines for future legislative and congressional elections drawn only by Republicans. The 4-2 vote by the Elections Committee would keep the Independent Redistricting Commission that voters created in 2000 to wrest control of the process from the Legislature. Proponents say it would help remove the politics from the decennial process. But HCR 2009 takes the chore of appointing its members from legislators from each of the two major parties and instead has commissioners running for office like any other politician. Rep. Ken Clark, D-Phoenix, said that, given the GOP voter registration edge, it is virtually certain to produce a commission of five Republicans.
Potentially more significant, the measure would remove restrictions that now exist on who can serve. Clark said that would allow candidates and even registered lobbyists to create legislative and congressional districts.
… The U.S. Supreme Court last year rejected a challenge to the ability of the commission to draw congressional lines. And that court is now weighing a separate claim that the commission illegally drew legislative lines favoring Democrats, a claim previously rejected by a panel of three federal judges.
Full Article: House panel OKs change in redistricting process.