Washington Post: John Roberts said we need to rely on states to solve gerrymandering. That’s not going so well.
The New Hampshire legislature passed a bipartisan bill that would have created an independent redistricting commission for that state. But Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, vetoed the bill, an act that was fundamentally anti-democracy. Instead of agreeing with most New Hampshire voters and legislators that gerrymandering harms our democracy, Sununu instead chose to keep the power to gerrymander with self-interested politicians.
Sununu’s veto was a pure power grab and nothing more. New Hampshire, like most other states, allows its legislature to redraw district lines for the state legislature and Congress after each census, which occurs every 10 years. When legislators have the power to draw the lines, they usually act in predictable ways, drawing district boundaries to ensure their own reelections.
The New Hampshire proposal would have taken much of that power away from the legislators. Instead, the law would have created a 15-member advisory commission comprised of five Democrats, five Republicans and five unaffiliated individuals. The selection process for these commissioners was eminently fair, with each side essentially allowed to choose commissioners nominated by the other party; the 10 chosen partisan commissioners would select the remaining five unaffiliated commissioners.