Pace Law School Prof. Randolph McLaughlin, who has litigated major voting rights cases for more than 20 years, is available to speak to the media about the battle over redistricting in New York State.
About Prof. McLaughlin
- Represented the plaintiffs at the trial and appellate levels in Goosby v. Town of Hempstead, the landmark case in the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that set the standard for voting rights challenges to at-large election systems
- Former director of Pace Law School’s Social Justice Center, which during the state’s last redistricting effort, developed a plan for non-partisan redistricting under a grant from the Ford Foundation. The plan served to educate members of the community, so they could advocate for themselves.
- Represented plaintiffs in voting rights cases against the City of New Rochelle and the Village of Port Chester
Prof. McLaughlin on the current debate over redistricting:
“Redistricting in New York State has always been held hostage by political parties. In the past, the Senate, which was controlled by Republicans, drew their own lines, and the Assembly, controlled by Democrats, drew their own lines. Inevitably, the lines drawn by either house wound up in a litigation that dragged on for years. Clearly, there’s a need for a non-partisan effort to create lines that are both consistent with the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. Unfortunately, it seems that neither party is interested in that endeavor.
The problem is, redistricting is all about incumbent protection. It’s not about the voters, it’s not about the community—it’s about the incumbents protecting their own little fiefdoms.
To change this, a Constitutional change would ultimately be ideal, because that would enshrine the process. But in the interim, both the House and Senate leadership could agree to have an independent panel, such as the state Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment, draw lines and to accept those lines.”
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