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It's looking increasingly like the Missouri legislature will make an end-run on gutting the extremely popular redistricting reform amendment passed by voters last November. #fairmaps 1/
In November, the Missouri amendment won with 62% of the vote, carrying 82 of 116 counties (including a majority of heavily Republican ones).

The handful of counties where it failed were mostly smaller ones.… #fairmaps 2/
Under Amendment 1 passed by Missouri voters, responsibility for drawing state house & state senate maps now belongs in the first instance to a newly created non-partisan state demographer, who has to follow new strengthened map drawing rules. #fairmaps 3/
The state's two redistricting commissions (one for the house one for the senate) can make changes to the demographer's map but can only do so with a bipartisan majority. #fairmaps 4/
The proposed constitutional amendment now moving through the MO legislature (HJR 48, 46 & 47) would change both who draws the maps & the mapdrawing rules. (P.S. The odd numbering scheme for the amendment is the legislature's, not mine). #fairmaps 5/
First, the office of non-partisan state demographer would be abolished and mapdrawing would be placed in the hands of commissions nominated by the two major political parties & appointed by the governor. #fairmaps 6/
This is the system that Missouri used for drawing legislative districts until the passage of Amendment 1 last November. And it didn't work particularly well. In 2011, e.g., both commissions deadlocked (perhaps not surprisingly since members are political appointees). #fairmaps 7/
That threw map drawing responsibility to a panel of six appellate judges appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court. But that process didn't work especially well in 2011 either. #fairmaps 8/
For example, the state house map it produced has among the highest rates of partisan bias among this decade's legislative maps.… #fairmaps 9/
The judicial mapdrawing process also was criticized for its opaqueness - but Missouri courts ruled that they were not subject to the state's sunshine & transparency laws, even though judges were performing a non-judicial function.… #fairmaps 10/
Meanwhile, the Missouri Supreme Court threw out the state senate map drawn by the six appellate judges, finding that the map drawn by judges was unconstitutional. But wait, there's more . . .… #fairmaps 11/
Having thrown out the judge-drawn state senate map, the Missouri Supreme Court also held that the six appellate judges lacked any power to six the map because their power ceased after they filed a map. #fairmaps 12/
This required the governor appoint a second commission to draw the state senate map - in short, starting the process all over again (with all the attendant voter and candidate confusion that entails). #fairmaps 13/
But that perplexingly is the process that some Missouri lawmakers seem to want to take the state back to with then proposal to gut the voter-approved Amendment 1. 🤷‍♂️ #fairmaps 14/
But aside from returning to a flawed process, the proposal to gut Amendment 1 is troubling in other ways as well - and, in particular, the way that it changes mapdrawing rules. #fairmaps 15/
Especially troubling is the elevation of compactness above preserving political subdivisions as well as partisan fairness. This means, for example, many towns artificially split apart in the name of complying with some mathematical formulation of compactness. #fairmaps 16/
And this is significant because communities have very real, shared representational needs (think: Ferguson) that will be undercut and diluted if those communities are fractured and split apart. #fairmaps 17/
And, to be clear, it is fine to include a compactness requirement (Amendment 1 passed by voters has one). But it should not subordinate other important values that actually affect the quality - and even the possibility - of representation. #fairmaps 18/
And what makes this compactness requirement seem especially like a political ploy - rather than a good faith effort - is that compactness has priority over the requirement of partisan fairness that voters approved in 2018. #fairmaps 19/
In other words, even if a map skews badly in favor of a political party because of the compactness requirement, that's okay - and, more than that, it's actually constitutionally mandated. #fairmaps 20/
In short, the changes that would be worked by HJR 48, 46 & 47 are a major attack on the reforms overwhelmingly approved by Missouri voters in 2018 and very bad from multiple perspectives. #fairmaps 21/
And as Tierney points out 👇, what is happening in Missouri (and may happen in Utah) is a major rebuttal to the suggestion of Justices Gorsuch & Kavanaugh last month that voters by themselves can fix the problem of gerrymandering. #fairmaps 22/
So what happens next? It looks like house debate on the proposal to gut Amendment 1 could be next week, followed by action in Missouri senate. The legislative session ends on Friday, May 17 - so a critical month to preserve the reforms approved by voters. #fairmaps 23/
The hopeful thing is that while lawmakers have always tried to play fast & loose with redistricting, that's getting harder to do because people are increasingly paying close attention to redistricting. #fairmaps 24/
When Democratic lawmakers tried to pass controversial changes to redistricting rules in New Jersey late last year, hundreds of people showed up to speak - surprising lawmakers and successfully stalling the process. #fairmaps 25/
Similarly, the grassroots energy around redistricting that led to the passage of reforms in 5 states last year should be a huge cautionary tale to anyone thinking they can rig the rules in the dark. #fairmaps 26/
10 years ago, words like 'redistricting' and even 'gerrymandering' didn't resonate with voters - just ask anyone involved with efforts to pass reforms back in the day. That is no longer the case. Simply say the words & people (Rs and Ds) say yes, I'll sign. #fairmaps 27/
Which is simply to say, relive in one of those moments where the political class is about as unpopular and distrusted as can be. And politicians who try to undermine popular reforms proceed at their own peril. #fairmaps 28/
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