Lots of questions going around about whether it is too late to pass federal redistricting reforms for this decade with redistricting data coming out tomorrow. Short answer: It is not. Longer answer in this thread 🧵 #fairmaps #S1 #HR1 #ForThePeople 1/
Longer answer: It’s not too late, *but* states are going to start drawing and passing maps in a matter of weeks and to have optimal effect reforms would be in place before that happens. So the clock is ticking. #fairmaps #S1 #HR1 #ForThePeople 2/
The longer Congress waits, the less robust reforms risk being. For example, right now, the bill has strong transparency & public participation requirements and mandates that states release an analysis of maps before they are voted on. #fairmaps #S1 #HR1 #ForThePeople 3/
Requirements like these would prevent what happened in PA in 2011 when Rs held their congressional map in secret until the *day of* the committee hearing on it - and then voted it out committee & passed it in the state senate the same day. #fairmaps #S1 #HR1 #ForThePeople 4/
But unless Congress has a secret time machine they haven’t been telling us about, those kinds of requirements - which play a critical role in helping police the redistricting process - can’t be implemented after the fact. #fairmaps #S1 #HR1 #ForThePeople 5/
Likewise, while Congress can always impose new legal rules for maps, including a ban on partisan gerrymandering, the longer it waits to pass legislation, the messier implementing those rules will be. #fairmaps #S1 #HR1 #ForThePeople 6/
Changes would have to be made through litigation, additional legislative sessions may be required to redraw and fix maps - and all of that might require moving primary dates and other election deadlines. #fairmaps #S1 #HR1 #ForThePeople 7/
In short, it gets messy. At the end of the day, this might have to be the road we go down if Congress can’t get its act together. But it would be much better & less disruptive to everyone from voters on up if the rules for redistricting were set up front. #fairmaps #S1 #HR1 8/
That call ultimately is Congress’s. By all accounts, Congress is making good progress to getting to a compromise bill. It’s on the 5-yard line of passing the most transformative redistricting reform in history. It just needs to finish the job. #fairmaps #S1 #HR1 #ForThePeople 9/
The other thing I will add is that if Congress passes reforms only after maps are passed in a large number of states - thus requiring litigation to implement new map rules - it will increase the likelihood that late litigation will mean some bad maps survive for 2022. 10/
Even though those maps may ultimately be changed in litigation for future cycles, they will be in place for 2022 - not because they are remotely good but only because Congress didn’t set the rules early enough and leave enough time to let litigation play out. 11/
Oh, and then there also are unintended consequences if primaries, etc. have to be moved to allow litigation to play out - like Ted Cruz.

David Dewhurst almost certainly would have won the 2012 Texas Senate primary if it had been held in early March instead of late May. 12/
Which is to say if primaries get moved, they probably move for all races, not just congressional contests.

Or courts could order special jungle primaries for US House as happened in Texas in 1996.

Either way, messy. 13/
All the more reason why, in sum, it behooves Congress (and the Biden White House) to prioritize getting this bill over the finish line. 14/

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More from @mcpli

2 Aug
With another cycle of redistricting just a couple of weeks away, no voting reform is more urgent or time sensitive than fixing the broken redistricting process. My op-ed 👇#fairmaps #S1 #HR1 #ForThePeople washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/…
In short, you can’t “out organize” gerrymandering. In 2012 in PA, Democrats got 51% of the congressional vote but won just 5 of 18 seats. The map was so gerrymandered that even if Ds won 56% of the vote, they would have won only 6 of 18 seats. #fairmaps 2/
Contrast that to the pre-2011 map. Then Democrats won 11 of 19 seats with 56% of the statewide vote. (Or put another way, 58% of seats for 56% of the vote compared with 33% of seats for the same 56% of the vote under the gerrymandered 2011 map). #fairmaps 3/
Read 12 tweets
16 Jul
This piece is just plain wrong. Yes, it is too late for Congress to mandate independent redistricting commissions for this round of mapdrawing. But there is still *lots* that Congress can & urgently needs to do. #fairmaps 1/ thefulcrum.us/amp/reforms-fo…
I talk here👇about how the redistricting reforms in the For the People Act aren’t just one reform but a power package of reforms that will work in tandem to fix a badly broken process. #fairmaps 2/ brennancenter.org/our-work/analy…
At the top of the list is a statutory ban on partisan gerrymandering. The gerrymandering ban in the For the People Act is strong, targeting both intent *and* effect - and it can and should be further fine-tuned and strengthened yet in various ways. #fairmaps 3/
Read 8 tweets
14 Jul
There are lots of arguments for the benefits of diversity, but few more powerful the initial US response to the pandemic. Neither China cancelling the Lunar New Year nor having to completely shut down the world’s second largest economy in face losing fashion really broke through.
And I’m not just talking about the federal government but in the general discourse - in local governments and within organizations and among everyday people. The import of his bad this was just didn’t resonate.
Cancelling the Lunar New Year is the equivalent of cancelling Christmas, Thanksgiving, and western New Year. It’s huge. The Lunar New Year is the one time a year that many factory workers from inland provinces get to go home. That it happened was epically big.
Read 5 tweets
9 Jul
It’s hard to describe how clueless *and* depressing this situation is. To quote the great Eminem, “If you one shot, or one opportunity . . . Would you capture it or just let it slip?” For some in power, it seems to be the latter.
We stand at an inflection point about whether we can be a multiracial democracy or not. Few people in history have been given as stark a choice. And that people can’t see it is 🤦🏻‍♂️😑
I mean just consider gerrymandering which could determine control of the House for a decade. Hard to “organize” out of that. Yes, Democrats won back the House in 2018 after losing it in 2012 - but they benefitted from a couple of factors that won’t likely be present this decade.
Read 8 tweets
2 Jul
The logo for the 1976 Bicentennial is still one of the best pieces of public design. Image
Though it raises the question - planning for the Bicentennial began in 1966. With the nation’s 250th anniversary just five years away, is there going to be something similar? Is that even possible in a country seemingly as divided as we are today?
The year before (2025) will be the 60th anniversary of both the Voting Rights Act and the Immigration Nationality Act - two bills that transformed the country and set the stage for who we are today. In a different world, you could see a big celebration leading into 2026.
Read 4 tweets
1 Jul
Section 2 as it applies to redistricting survives Brnowich, but Section 2 in the redistricting context was already getting harder to use.
That’s both because SCOTUS interpreted it restrictively and because Section 2 claims, with those restrictions, are hard to successfully bring in the places where people of color increasingly live (namely, the suburbs). 2/
To win a Section 2 redistricting case, the Supreme Court requires that you prove that you can draw a reasonably compact minority district that is 50%+1 citizen voting age population. That’s possible in the traditional big city cores where people of color used to mostly live. 3/
Read 6 tweets

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