Some Questions for the MD Senate President Regarding Redistricting
Today, Maryland State Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. provided an interesting statement regarding the Governor’s plan to reform the redistricting process in Maryland (see: SB 380). You can find the full audio of his statement at The Daily Record.
Here are some questions (with quotes) that we need answered:
MM: “No state east of the Mississippi has adopted a redistricting (reform) plan and the governor knows that.”
1. Are you implying that New Jersey is no longer “east of the Mississippi” because they use an independent redistricting commission? What about Pennsylvania’s bipartisan commission or Ohio’s that will take effect in 2020? What about the states that have independent advisory commissions?
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2. Are you implying that Maryland should only follow ideas adopted in other states “east of the Mississippi”? If so, why did we “lead” the region on issues such as in-state tuition for illegal immigrants or decriminalizing marijuana?
3. Are you implying that this is a partisan issue based on some delineation regarding the Mississippi River? If so, what about Democrat controlled California passing the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, which has many of the same reforms? What about New Jersey?
MM: “This is from a Republican partisan playbook.”
4. If this is partisan, why do 13 states have an independent redistricting agency? Are California, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Washington controlled by Republicans?
5. If this is a “partisan playbook,” are you implying that Democrats by definition need to have districts that stretch across multiple counties and intertwine with other districts?
6. Are you saying that Republicans will win if districts are compact and evenly drawn and that Democrats can only win if they are not?
MM: “All elected officials east of the Mississippi, Republicans and Democrats, wish for the Supreme Court to set the rules or for the Congress to set the rules.”
7. Are you saying that the Maryland Constitution (Article 3, Section 5) should no longer determine how districts are established?
8. If we need to wait for Congress to address the issue, why did we not wait for them to address Illegal Immigration or Marijuana laws?
I’m sure that the people of Maryland have many more questions that the Senate President needs to answer.