01 December 2003

of note

the colorado supreme court threw out CO republicans' redistricting plan, though unfortunately not on you-guys-are-what's-wrong-with-democracy grounds. basically, the ruling takes note of some nice, clear language in the colorado constitution that mandates redistricting only once a decade, after the census. such redistricting had already been accomplished, by a judge, after democrats and republicans failed to agree on a districting plan after the census. (republicans then rammed through their own plan, arguing that redistricting is a legislative, not a judicial act -- to which the court responded with a quick slap upside the head: "sorry, y'all missed your chance.")

the decision, as the article points out, might have some interesting ramifications for the texas plan, as well as for the (many) other states who redistrict after each census.

only somewhat relatedly, this sort of conflict is what makes me wish there were stronger respect for decorum, a.k.a. "the spirit of the law," in american politics. the times had an oh-for-the-good-old-days article about the collapse of civility in congress yesterday, and while i'm generally a bit unsympathetic to pundits who seem to think democrats and republicans shouldn't be arguing--about anything--quite so hard, i'm way, way more unsympathetic to folks whose procedural gambits and rule-bending are about power, rather than policy. these are the folks who extend a fifteen-minute vote for three hours; the folks who lock minority members out of committee deliberations; the folks who want to redraw district lines to disenfranchise opposition voters.

seriously, if this continues i may be forced to post an overly didactic polemic about the evils of the single-member district.

...and on an entirely unrelated note, holy shit, it's december. i hope everyone had a happy thanksgiving.