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.
“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.”