One immediate takeaway from the federal Court’s congressional redistricting plan and ruling is that incumbency protection (i.e., seniority and residence) should not be a factor when crafting a judicial plan (or any truly independent redistricting plan). The ruling, however, will have no influence on the bipartisan redistricting commission proposed in the recently passed legislation amending the state constitution.
It looks increasingly like a court-appointed special master will have to draw the new map for New York’s congressional districts. Will that plan reflect reality as well as federal law? That test is apparently too tough for the state lawmakers whose duty it is to set the new lines – but who seem more focused on carving out racial and ethnic silos.
On Friday, I respectfully submit a letter to Federal Magistrate Judge Roanne L. Mann urging the Court’s consideration of several factors to consider in drawing congressional redistricting maps.
The text follows below: