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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

State

“Redistricting” and “Reapportionment” are not the same thing
by Matt Rexroad in the FlashReport
When I recently looked back at my study guides for law school I notice that they use the words interchangeably when clearly they have no idea what they are talking about.  Heck, even Supreme County Justice Sandra Day O’Connor got confused in her opinion in Shaw v. Reno when she wrote “[R]apportionment is one area where appearance does matter.”

Reapportionment has nothing to do with appearance. She was writing about the appearance of a North Carolina Congressional District 12 that was the subject of substantial litigation over the 1990s.  She was actually writing about redistricting, not reapportionment.

[Editor note: just in time for Matt’s article, the National Conference of State Legislatures released this handy list of redistricting terms, including the ever popular “Metes and Bounds.”]

Commission Update
The Commission will resume hearings today and go through Friday, running from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. All the excitement happens at the Secretary of State Auditorium located at 1500 11th Street, Sacramento.  (Also known as the place across from LaBou) 

National

Pros Plan New Shapes for Redistricting Map
FoxNews
Sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the seminar has at its heart, of course, some very serious business: instructing and guiding the individuals in all 50 states who will spend this year redrawing their states' congressional maps.

Despite attempts to leaven the proceedings with rousing name-that-district contests, with Starbucks cards for prizes, even some of his fellow panelists rubbed their eyes and fidgeted in apparent torture at the exquisite dullness of the subject matter: data, geography, maps and law.

Local

Placer County moves to change Supes district boundaries
Auburn Journal
Since 2000, Placer County’s population has grown by nearly 100,000 to 330,000, with most of the growth in the Roseville and Lincoln areas.

“This redistricting is done so that each supervisorial district has equal population,” said County Executive Officer Thomas Miller. “This ensures that each area of our very diverse county is equally represented.”

County supervisors begin shaping new districts
San Diego Union Tribune
All five supervisors are white, Republican, and have served together for the last 15 years.

Aguirre said the county remained out of step with the vast majority of voters.  “Everyone realizes that if you leave the people in elected office in charge of redistricting they are going to rig the system in their favor,” Aguirre said.

He said the county should consider tailoring its approach after the city, which he also sued and settled with over similar objections. The city redistricting commission has sole control over district boundary lines.