NewsPublic Affairs / June 22, 2018

Indiana Redistricting Reform Advocates Disappointed By Rulings

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Redistricting reform advocates pack the Indiana House Chamber during a 2017 committee hearing. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

Redistricting reform advocates pack the Indiana House Chamber during a 2017 committee hearing. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

Indiana redistricting reform advocates say they're disappointed and a bit deflated by the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decisions in two major cases on partisan gerrymandering.

The Supreme Court largely punted on its chances to decide if political bias is enough to invalidate legislative district maps, in cases out of Wisconsin and Maryland.

Common Cause Indiana Policy Director Julia Vaughn says that's frustrating because Indiana legislative leaders said redistricting reform should wait until the court weighs in.

"And that is simply a delay tactic; it's an excuse," Vaughn says.

Excuse or not, Vaughn says if lawmakers don't move next year to install an independent redistricting commission - as advocates want - it likely won't happen before maps are redrawn in 2021.

Still, Vaughn says a decision against partisan gerrymandering will help advocates, even without that commission.

"We will definitely have a much better tool to hold legislators accountable," Vaughn says.

There's another partisan gerrymandering case - out of North Carolina - due in the court's next term.

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