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51  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Redistricting - Jimrtex, Alternate Process, Scoring System on: March 11, 2015, 11:35:36 pm
This is based on Torie 2015E.  (2015D scores the same as 2015E).



This is 2015E with the shifts adjust.  The double parentheses indicates that Torie is not responsible for it.

52  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: March 11, 2015, 05:01:51 pm
No doubt we have evolved in thoughts about mapmaking. To apply our current metrics to AZ would require a bit of work to identify county subdivisions and determine how to treat reservations and connections between counties and subdivisions.
90% of Arizona's population is urban (in urbanized areas and urban clusters).   Would a better approach in Arizona be to ignore counties and focus on the highway connections between urban areas?   The connection between Pima and Maricopa is particularly tenuous.

Perhaps the entire population of a census tract (or tribal census tract) could be associated with the largest urban area in the tract.  The Phoenix area could use the cities.
53  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: MI maps - muon2 scoring on: March 11, 2015, 02:40:14 am
Anyway, for scoring,  "your" map is below (as best I could draw it), avoiding subunit chops, assuming that they are penalized in the chop score (as they should be). I must admit "your" MI-04 achieves absolute perfection. Smiley


MI jimrtex 2015A

It wasn't really "my" map.  I found a map on the Internet, and was using it for example.  You've jumped ahead to the next step.  But your going back and forth about whether it is better to split Eaton or Ingham illustrates a weakness of a single comprehensive stage.  It become exceedingly complex when trying to consider where the boundary should be between Grand Rapids and Lansing, when it is somehow tied to the division of Hamtramck.   If your statewide map had been approved, then there could be a simple focused discussion on where to get 13,647 persons, where all the options might be considered.

The switch of Osceola (not Missaukee) was automatic.  When a single county on a boundary can be switched and improve the equality between the two districts, then it is shifted.  The algorithm is simple.   Determine counties in the more populous district that have less population than the difference.   Choose the one that reduces the difference the most, while not breaking contiguity.

I had noticed that the shift of Missaukee would produce a 3rd district within 0.5% bounds.  I'll submit it as a joint effort.

Quote
This version of MI-08 might be better from a road cut standpoint. I leave that to Muon2 to figure out.

MI jimrtex 2015A2


INEQUALITY 11 (range), 9 (ave dev) (range 5977, ave dev 1257) [11/9 in Torie D]
CHOP 12 raw (UC 14, UP 16, US 17) [12/13/14/16 Torie D]
EROSITY 112 (changes 1/2:5[6], 1/4:5[5], 2/3:10[2], 2/4:5[5], 3/4:4[2], 3/5:1[0], 3/8:5[3], 4/5:4[4], 4/8:0[1], 5/8:0[1], 5/10:4[3], 5/11:4[3], 8/11:1[1], 10/11:11[10] net +13) [99 in Torie D]

Shifting the chop from Saginaw to Ingham doesn't affect the raw CHOP, but does increase the UCC cover count, though if single county UCCs are counted it's a wash. Note that Kent is now a macrochop so erosity increases there, plus the other shofts tend to hurt erosity as well.

Shifting the chop from Clinton to Eaton increases the ave dev INEQUALITY to 10 and leaves the CHOP the same. The EROSITY drops to 110.

Edit: The chop into Ingham decreases the Detroit UCC pack from 5 to 4 so the UP score goes up an additional 1 beyond the 1 for GR.
When you originally split the Lansing UCC, you went all the way to the Ingham-Eaton line.  There is clear distinction between that, and chopping 5% of the county's population.

I don't see any difference in a policy standpoint from having two districts extending outside the Detroit UCC, and just one.  Keeping whole districts within a county might make sense for the Ohio and Texas houses, where you have many house districts, per county.  And in Ohio, it was the only part of the constitution that they followed faithfully since it was an absolute standard.

The main difference between our scoring systems is that I'm focusing on trying to achieve whole county districts, and stranding the minimum number of people outside their counties.  I think we should compare to West Virginia rather than Iowa.  First and foremost, we want to have whole county districts.   If we can achieve this in multiple ways, we prefer less erose maps.  But if we can't achieve whole county districts, shouldn't we try to make the smallest adjustments, rather than try to drive down to Iowa equality standards, just because we can once we breach county boundaries?
54  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Redistricting - Jimrtex, Alternate Process, Scoring System on: March 11, 2015, 01:55:46 am
This is based on Torie 2015 C.



And this is my alternative, with the shifts adjusted.  The use of double parentheses indicates that Torie is not responsible for this alternative.

55  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: MI maps - muon2 scoring on: March 11, 2015, 01:37:11 am
Non-partisan redistricting is an interesting concept, one I am open to.  It's interesting an attempt is being made here to do that.
That's of course in the event that a law was passed that required House seats to be drawn with presidential voting in mind.  That's my favorite alternative to the current system - which I am not sure about on whether I want it reformed or not.
California and Florida do not permit use of political data, including locations of incumbents, except when used in conjunction with racial or ethnic minorities.  Arizona requires creation of competitive districts if possible.
56  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Redistricting - Jimrtex, Alternate Process, Scoring System on: March 10, 2015, 10:22:40 pm
This is based on Torie B.  I left out the inexplicable chop of Osceola.  If Muon's scoring system incentivizes a chop where, none is necessary, it should be regarded as a perverse incentive.



This map rearranges the shifts, and reduces the overall inequality.   The double parentheses indicate that Torie is not responsible for the change.

57  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Redistricting - Jimrtex, Alternate Process, Scoring System on: March 10, 2015, 04:24:08 pm
This is based on Tories 2015A.  It leaves the shifts where he placed them.



A reasonable definition of a chop into a UCC (for Muon's scoring system) might be based on the extra district(s) beyond the minimum needed for coverage of the UCC.  In Torie's map, the chop of Clinton is slightly less than 50% of the population.  But what if it were more?  Is the chop based on the smaller part of the county?   Basing it on population share of the UCC would even permit a gargantuation chop that included all of Clinton and Eaton.   In my representation, the Grand Rapids region would simply be grossly underpopulated, and Lansing region would include the entire UCC and be overpopulated.  The requirement for a chop would be shown, but the details not identified.

This is based on Torie 2015A, with the switch of Missaukee to Region 3 (Grand Rapids).  It is not intended as an alternate map, but as part of a commentary on scoring systems.  I have included a double set of parentheses to insulate Torie from direct responsibility.

The shift permits the reduction of the shift from Clinton or Eaton (or Calhoun) into Region 3 (Grand Rapids) which I believe is qualitatively better.  It eliminates the Saginaw chop, which is qualitatively better.  It splits the shift into Region 8 (Detroit) into two parts, which I would consider qualitatively neutral.  There is no change in the shift from Region 4 (Lansing) to Region 7 (Southeast).

It scores better under my system, and there is no increase in erosity.


58  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Redistricting - Jimrtex, Alternate Process, Scoring System on: March 10, 2015, 07:17:36 am
This is based on Train's 2015D.  (2015C scores the same as 2015B, since it only makes changes internal to the Detroit UCC.



The use of Bay as a bridge, can be resolved by swapping Otsego and Gladwin.  This will require a small adjustment to Region 2 (Traverse City), but will also reduce the boundary length some.
59  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: MI maps - muon2 scoring on: March 10, 2015, 05:12:18 am
As currently conceived, the regional plan would be chosen before there was further refinement.  I am assuming that small changes to Detroit regions, such as adding population from Ingham rather than Sanilac, Lapeer, or Genesee will  make no material difference to the Detroit districts (we are only adding about 4% of a quota).

I understand that a regional plan might be chosen first, but there still has to be a way to score the subregional plans once the regional plan is selected. There are lots of ways to carve up the Detroit districts and where the extra population is attached will affect the districts, especially if the additional population is greater than the allowable deviation.
Let's say you have a map that puts two districts in Wayne, and another across the Wayne/Oakland border.   That puts another district in Livingston+Oakland, with 0.563 left over.
Place one district in Macomb, which leaves 0.191.   Add in St.Clair.  If the extra 0.40 comes from Lapeer it gets added in as well.

But let's say that 0.25 comes from Ingham.  That will give you 0.25 more left over in Oakland.  So you are moving the border in northern Oakland a little bit.   And you can still come across the Macomb-Wayne line to grab the Grosse Point's which shifts the boundary in Oakland County a litte further east.
60  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: MI maps - muon2 scoring on: March 09, 2015, 09:21:56 pm
Does Pareto optimization require a discrete domain, or can it be continuous.  I suppose you would have to figure out a way that could compare plans that improved one variable, while not significantly degrading another.   That was the impetus between my question about hyperbolic curve fitting, as a way of defining the direction of improvement.
Pareto works fine with continuous variables as well. The rule is that if one plan improves one or more variables compared to another plan, but makes no variable worse, then it is Pareto preferred. I assume that your two variables are the population shift and the perimeter for the regions. Do you have additional variables to score the districts in regions larger than one?
What if it improves one variable, while making another variable slightly worse (for mumbly values of slightly).

As currently conceived, the regional plan would be chosen before there was further refinement.  I am assuming that small changes to Detroit regions, such as adding population from Ingham rather than Sanilac, Lapeer, or Genesee will  make no material difference to the Detroit districts (we are only adding about 4% of a quota).
61  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Redistricting - Jimrtex, Alternate Process, Scoring System on: March 09, 2015, 09:00:51 pm
This is based on Train B.  Unlike my earlier attempt, I have not shifted any counties.  Since it eliminates the impled Saginaw mactochop, the shift amount is about 1/2 as much, with some increase in erosity due to looping in Isabella.



A regional analysis such as this helps highlight where larger shifts are being required.  In this case, the largest excess is in Region 2 (Saginaw) and the largest deficit is Region 8 (Detroit).  Since they are not adjacent, there must be larger chop between Region 2 and Region 5 (Flint) to get enough population to Detroit.

This map swaps Newaygo and Mecosta for Isabella, which moves the surplus from Region 2 (Saginaw) to Region 4 (Lansing), which permits a direct transfer to Region 8 (Detroit).



Region 2 is just outside the 0.5% deviation limit (0.54%).  The system could be gamed a bit by equalizing between Region 1 and Region 2.   I instead equalized between Region 2 and Region 3 (Grand Rapids) which brings the two regions quite close to the quota.

The boundary length is reduced a small amount, due to southward notch to Region 2 caused by Newaygo, and the shift is reduced by about 1/3.
62  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Redistricting - Jimrtex, Alternate Process, Scoring System on: March 09, 2015, 06:37:02 pm
This map is based on Train's A3.



Compared to the plan based on Train A2, there is a small improvement in erosity.  Since I am using distance, rather than a count of county boundaries, there is no difference in whether the boundary is south of Missaukee and Roscommon, or to the north.  The reduction in the boundary is due to the the elimination of the Benzie-Leelanau arm.

Qualitatively this map is better since it reduces the chopping of the Traverse City area.

The shift amount increases negligibly.  While Region 1 (UP and northern LP) is a tad closer to the quota, there is more population to be dispersed southward from Region 2.

This is the equivalent version, with Bay and Sanilac swapped.  In this case, the total shift is negligibly improved, since the swap of 4 counties reduces the deficit of Region 2.

63  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: MI maps - muon2 scoring on: March 09, 2015, 05:38:14 pm
So at this point there are 13 plans, so let's see if we can find a relationship between chop and erosity scores. To get the relationship I need to extract the Pareto optimal plans.

If I use the original raw CHOP and EROSITY there are three plans that rise to the top.
muon2 B: C 8, E 116
Torie C: C 12, E 95
Torie B: C 13, E 94
Could you show a chart?


For the first comparison in the above quote I used the following table.
Planrange INEQUALITY  raw CHOP  EROSITY
train A31011136
train B1010126
train C109125
train D109124
Torie A1012106
Torie B121394
Torie C121295
Torie D121299
Torie E1112115
Torie F1112122
jimrtex A1112112
muon2 A119119
muon2 B108116

The highlighted rows were Pareto optimal in that there was no plan that could improve on either CHOP or EROSITY without diminishing the other. For example muon2 B improves on both scores cmpared to muon2 A, so I eliminated muon2 A. Torie C improves on EROSITY for the same CHOP as Torie A so it is eliminated. Note this is with the raw CHOP without UCC penalties. INEQUALITY didn't figure into this selection.
Does Pareto optimization require a discrete domain, or can it be continuous.  I suppose you would have to figure out a way that could compare plans that improved one variable, while not significantly degrading another.   That was the impetus between my question about hyperbolic curve fitting, as a way of defining the direction of improvement.
64  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Redistricting - Jimrtex, Alternate Process, Scoring System on: March 09, 2015, 04:55:00 am
I'm taking too long to explain the details of the process, so I'm going to jump ahead to scoring.

Since I had already scored Train A2, I'll go ahead and display.  I have placed his name in parentheses to indicate it is not his plan, but based on his plan.   This will be better for comparing Muon2's system with mine.

Regions in my maps are numbered as follows:

1: Region containing UP.
2: Northernmost region not containing Grand Rapids or Lansing.  May include Midland-Bay-Saginaw.
3: Region containing Grand Rapids (magnitude 2).
4: Region containing Lansing.
5: Region containing Flint.
6: Southwest-most remaining district.
7: Southeast-most remaining district.
8: Region containing Detroit (magnitude 6).

In converting district plans to regional plans, I assigned counties to regions based on the district with the largest share of the population.

For (Train A2) this meant assigning Saginaw to Region 2, and consequently a very large shift.



In determining whether regions had to be corrected, I required that the populations for an ara be within 0.5% x sqrt(magnitude).   For regions 6 and 7, their total population of 1.994 is within the limit of 0.5% x sqrt(2) from the ideal population.  The correction made between these two regions is that necessary to make their population equal, not the minimum to bring both regions within 0.5% of the ideal.  This is consistent with an objective of as equal as practicable.  Once we breach a county line, we are obligated to get as close as possible, within a secondary constraint of chopping only one county, and adhering to township and municipality boundaries.

The actual adjustment may be made anwhere along the boundary between regions.  A small adjustment of this size can be made from St.Joseph, Calhoun, or Jackson counties, without materially altering the overall plan.  In a better world, we would not have to make any adjustment.

If we were to fully equalize regions 2, 5, 6, 7, and 8, the total shift is only slightly greater, but there is a 4th shift needed between region 8 (Detroit) and 7 (Southwest).  This shift would be quite small, about 0.6% or around 4000 persons.

A modified version would shift Bay and Sanilac counties to reduce the interregional population difference.



The shifted population is about 1/4 as much reflecting the elimination of the large Saginaw chop, while increasing erosity by 10%.

I had originally envisaged this type of an adjustment as an automatic process, but this might not be the best idea.

The algorithm was:

For each pair of neighboring regions that have connecting counties, process the pairs in order of decreasing population difference (ie do the pair of regions with the largest difference first):

1) Determine if there are one or more counties on the more populous side of the boundary, that if shifted would reduce the difference, would not split a UCC, and would not break the connectivity of the donor region.  Counties with a population less than the current difference qualify.
2) If any such counties exist, choose the one that reduces the difference the most.  The best county to shift is the one with a population closest to half the difference.
3) If a shift is made, restart at the beginning.
4) If no more shifts may be made, quit.

In this instance, the difference between Region 2 (Mid-Northern) and Region 5 (Flint) was the greatest, and shifting of Bay to Region 5 reduced the difference.  The increase in Region 5 made the difference between Region 5 (Flint) and Region 8 (Detroit) the greatest, and Sanilac was shifted.  An additional shift of Oscoda was identified, but then dropped, because it would have increased the necessary correction between regions, and also forced the excess of the Detroit region to be delivered even further north.

So I think the automated "improvement" should be dropped:

(1) It is not what Train wanted.
(2) Someone else could suggest the plan, without the automatic change.
(3) It won't find solutions that involve multiple swaps (such as Train's A3).
(4) It might make matters worse.  For example, if Bay could not be shifted, then it is likely that there would have been shifts made to regions 3 (Grand Rapids) and 4 (Flint).   But this simply spreads the excess around.
(5) The large chop of Saginaw will cause the plan to score poorly, which is a check in and of itself.

The one remaining concern is that to be comparable, plans must have the same number of regions.   Otherwise, I could propose a region consisting of the entire state.  It requires zero inter-regional shifts, and it has zero length internal boundaries.  It is perfect, infinitely better than Iowa.  It of course totally hides the intra-regional adjustments that would be needed.

The simple solution is to require the most number of regions.  Plans with fewer regions would be rejected.   But this opens up the possibility of someone proposing a region consisting of the Grand Rapids UCC.   One possible solution would be to set a limit on the amount of deviation is permitted for a region.  The 22.7% deviation for a minimal Grand Rapids region might be too large.

Alternatively, creation of a 9th region might not be permitted to increase the necessary shift by "too much".  Starting from our perfect 1-region plan, we know we can create 8 regions while only increasing the total shift amount by around 5%.  But creating a 9th region is going to quintuple that amount.

If (when) Michigan loses its 14th CD, the Grand Rapids UCC is going to be around 110% of the quota, and keeping it all within a single CD less a small chop might be a preferred solution.

Another possibility would be permit a UCC to be covered by multiple regions, so long as the magnitude of those regions is not more than necessary.  I suspect it is fairly easy to split the Grand Rapids UCC into two regions on the Kent-Ottawa county line.  Is it desirable to force such a split?  And if not, how would two plans be scored if Plan A placed the two counties in different regions, and Plan B placed the whole UCC in a magnitude 2 region?

Also if we permitted placing the Grand Rapids UCC in two regions, would that require splitting the Detroit UCC in two regions: Wayne-Macomb-St.Clair (4.001) and Oakland-Livington (1.959), even though the borders between Oakland and Macomb and Wayne are arguably the county borders we should be least concerned about breaching.



Thought exercise.  Imagine that a plan proposed regions consisting of (1) Detrout UCC; (2) Grand Rapids UCC; (3) Lansing UCC; (4) Washtenaw County; (5) Monroe County; (6) Jackson County; (7) Hillsdale County; and (Cool the rest of the state.   Then apply the automatic algorithm proposed above.  Initially Region 8 would have a magnitude of around 5, and would have a deviation of about 400%, so counties would transferred from it, as it withdrew northward.  Two districts would follow through the Ionia-Barry gap.

Alternatively, the seeds could be (4) Washtenaw County; (5) Kalamazoo Count; (6) Genesee County; and (7) Saginaw County.
65  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: March 09, 2015, 01:23:14 am
However, I am not sure kraxen's map is legal under the VRA. Creating an ersatz Hispanic CD like that, losing Hispanics on the perimeters in various locations to take in the core in disparate locations, might be viewed as racial gerrymandering ala that NC map, where SCOTUS axed that Watt CD back when. It may have taken erosity a bit too far. The point being that if an Hispanic (black) CD can be created that is compact, is it legal to make one hideously erose, going all over the state? Interesting question. Maybe Muon2 has a thought on it. It's one thing to create a majority minority CD that can only be done by going all over the place (not mandated of course, but legal); quite another when it is unnecessary to do so, to create the requisite majority minority CD.
I think the current VA case touches on that very issue. The lower court, citing other cases, said that VA-3 was drawn with race as the primary factor. The unusual shape including the hopscotch down the river led to that conclusion, and it was recognized that there were other districts that could provide an opportunity for the minority to elect a candidate of choice without the gerrymander.
When VA-3 was first drawn, it had a 60% BVAP.  The court rejected that map, which included fingers into Petersburg, and a swath of rural counties north of the James River (they were not majority black, but were apparently blacker than any areas adjacent to the intricately drawn boundaries in the Richmond and Hampton Roads areas.  If you started with a district consisting of the James River, and started adding precincts based on their BVAP, you might get such a result.  It is sort of like trying to draw the two majority BVAP senate districts in Cuyahoga County, and you end up choosing between Parma and Lakewood based on their blackness.

The court also said that they didn't believe the first prong of the Gingles test could be met, even though a 60% BVAP district was obviously possible.   The revised plan removed Portsmouth from the district, and dropped some of the other appendages.  But if you were identifying a compact area with a majority BVAP, you would hardly exclude Portsmouth.

Since Virginia has not been gaining representatives, and the population growth has been highest in NoVA, it has become even less possible to draw a district that meets the first prong, since the districts must be larger - and the black population has likely become somewhat more dispersed.
66  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: MI maps - muon2 scoring on: March 08, 2015, 04:42:15 pm
So at this point there are 13 plans, so let's see if we can find a relationship between chop and erosity scores. To get the relationship I need to extract the Pareto optimal plans.
Are the 13 plans:

Torie 2015 (A, B, C, D, E, F)
Train 2015 (A2, A3, B, C, D)
Muon2 2015 (A2, B)?


Not train A2 (it was subsumed into A3), but I did score your joint submission with Torie as jimrtex A.
That's good, since I scored A2.
67  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: MI maps - muon2 scoring on: March 08, 2015, 04:59:19 am
So at this point there are 13 plans, so let's see if we can find a relationship between chop and erosity scores. To get the relationship I need to extract the Pareto optimal plans.
Are the 13 plans:

Torie 2015 (A, B, C, D, E, F)
Train 2015 (A2, A3, B, C, D)
Muon2 2015 (A2, B)?
68  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: MI maps - muon2 scoring on: March 08, 2015, 04:31:55 am
So at this point there are 13 plans, so let's see if we can find a relationship between chop and erosity scores. To get the relationship I need to extract the Pareto optimal plans.

If I use the original raw CHOP and EROSITY there are three plans that rise to the top.
muon2 B: C 8, E 116
Torie C: C 12, E 95
Torie B: C 13, E 94
Could you show a chart?
69  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Time in Indiana on: March 08, 2015, 04:30:34 am
If you really think local solar noon should be the center of the day, then perhaps you'd prefer working 8 to 4 instead of 9 to 5.  The sad fact is that our culture hates mornings and has for a long time now.  I have no problem with acknowledging that reality.
7 to 5 is preferable to 9 to 7.
70  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: March 08, 2015, 04:20:18 am
Based on what I've read, leadership in the California Legislature does appear ready to reopen redistricting if SCOTUS rules that way. You have to look at this from the standpoint of California Democrats. In the Legislature, they are term limited and they almost certainly want to have as many seats open for aspiring legislators to move up. I would also expect Nancy Pelosi to be spending some time in Sacramento this summer. She wants to be Speaker again and a Democratic gerrymander of California would put her that much closer to her goal. There's little doubt she'll have considerable sway in creating any new map.
Legislation by the General Assembly is subject to a referendum.  Once the referendum petition is lodge, the act is suspended.  The General Assembly could attach an urgency clause, which would make the plan immune from a referendum, except that Democrats don't have a 2/3 majority in either house.

In the past, when this has happened, the California Supreme Court has let the enacted plan go into effect on a provisional basis, but that is because the previous plan had the wrong number of congressional districts.  But the current plan has the correct number and was based on the 2000 Census.

In the 1980s redistricting, Chief Justice Liberal Rose Bird also ordered that the legislative gerrymander for the house and senate go into effect, claiming that population changes since the 1970s made the 1970 plan no longer comply with OMOV.   The voters rejected the Jerrymanders by 63-65% margins.  But the incoming legislators elected on the Jerrymandered boundaries, re-enacted the plans and added urgency clauses.   Jerrymander Brown I signed the bills before he left office.

So legislature passes congressional Jerrymander.  Referendum is petitioned for.  The California Consitution requires referendums to be held at the next general election.  The California legislature has recently defined a "general election" to be the election in November of even-numbered years.

Since the Jerrymander referendum will be on the ballot in November 2016, the 2016 congressional districts will be held on the current boundaries.

In addition, there will be an initiative to correct the current redistricting provisions with regard to congressional redistricting.  The redistricting commission will propose a map to the legislature.  The legislature may adopt the commission's map, or propose an alternative.  In that case, there will be a mandatory referendum with the two plans on the ballot.
71  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: March 07, 2015, 01:34:53 am
Why can the people not create redistricting commissions but they have the right to enact voter ID laws? Isn't that also included in the "times, places and manner" of holding elections?
"times, places, and manner" applies to federal elections.   Or do you think that it was a generous grant by the Great White Fathers in Philadelphia to even let the States have their own government?

The People can create redistricting commissions for their State.  They can enact Voter ID laws for their own elections.   The SCOTUS has strongly indicated that States may require additional documentation of citizenship in order to register to vote in State elections.

So voter ID laws don't apply to Congressional and Presidential elections? What?
SCOTUS has indicated that States may require documentation of citizenship for registration for state and local elections, beyond what is required on the federal registration form, and two States do so.  These are quite similar to Voter ID laws, that simply require a voter to document that they are who they say they are.  And Congress has not legislated with respect to voter identification.
72  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: March 06, 2015, 04:43:12 pm
Why can the people not create redistricting commissions but they have the right to enact voter ID laws? Isn't that also included in the "times, places and manner" of holding elections?
"times, places, and manner" applies to federal elections.   Or do you think that it was a generous grant by the Great White Fathers in Philadelphia to even let the States have their own government?

The People can create redistricting commissions for their State.  They can enact Voter ID laws for their own elections.   The SCOTUS has strongly indicated that States may require additional documentation of citizenship in order to register to vote in State elections.
73  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: March 06, 2015, 10:37:43 am
How many seats would the democrats get with this map?
Would the majority leader be in trouble?

7 would be the max meaning they would lose 7 seats. Factor in a loss of 2 seats in AZ, and you have a net loss of 5. If we give the two swing districts to the Republicans, that is still a gain of 5 districts in CA for the Democrats.
Any legislation passed by the General Assembly is subject to a referendum, unless it gets a 2/3 majority in both houses.   Democrats won't have a 2/3 majority in either house after the 3 senate vacancies are filled.  And this assumes that Jerrymander Brown wants his legacy to be presiding over two gerrymanders 40 years apart, and doesn't veto the bill.

And I doubt that the General Assembly will swing into action without a court ruling specific to California.

Once the referendum petition is successful, the legislation is frozen.  Under the California Constitution, referendum are held at the next general election, and the legislature has conveniently redefined "general election" to mean election in November of even-numbered years.

The last time this happened, back in 1981, when Jerrymander Brown was the governor, Chief Justice Liberal Rose Bird, ruled that the legislative and congressional districts drawn by the legisilature, and were theoretically suspended because they were subject to referendum should be used for the 1982 elections.   But that  was because the 1970  congressional district maps had the wrong number of districts, and according to Liberal Rose Bird the 1970 legislative maps did not comply with OMOV.

But the California Supreme Court won't rule that the congressional maps drawn by the commission don't comply with OMOV.   And they certainly won't let the legislature draw new maps for the General Assembly.  So the November 2016 elections will be conducted on the current lines.

In the 1982 elections, the Democratic Jerrymander plans were defeated by a 63-65% majority.  But the General Assembly was elected on the lines that the voters rejected.  They came into office late in 1982, and re-enacted the same legislation that the voters had just rejected.  They also inserted an urgency clause (because they had obtained a 2/3 majority based on the voter-rejected districts), which prevents a referendum.   Jerrymander Brown who continued in office until 1983 signed the bill.

But the 2017 General Assembly, elected on the current district lines may not have a 2/3 Democratic supermajority.  And besides there will be another redistricting amendment approved in November 2016.  It has the following provisions:

(1) No urgency clause for redistricting measures.

(2) The redistricting commission will recommend a congressional map to the General Assembly, in 2017, and every subsequent year ending in -01.

(3) The General Assembly may adopt the recommended plan or draw their own.  If they draw their own, the two plans will be subject to a mandatory preferendum.  The General Assembly will meet in regional locations throughout the State (at least one for each five districts that their plan differs from that recommended by the commission).
74  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: March 05, 2015, 11:34:03 pm
Most democracies have independent commissions that are put in place by the legislature without any citizen ballot initiatives. So this issue ought, in principle, to be irrelevant. I know, of course, that the reality is different.

The idea that "the Legislature" should be interpreted to include a citizen referendum seems very dubious. In the original constitution, prior to the 17th amendment, the House is described with the following text:

Quote
The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

while the Senate is described thus:

Quote
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

It seems pretty clear that the authors distinguished "the People" from "the Legislature". That's why the 17th amendment was needed.
In the early 20th Century, the SCOTUS made a distinction between "Legislature" meaning the body; and "Legislature" meaning the legislative process.  In particular, they ruled against popular election of senators, and popular ratification of constitutional amendments.  These were not powers delegated to the States, which might then delegate them to the People.  And they were not powers retained by the States, because there would be no senators or constitutional amendment without the US Constitution.

But they did make a distinction with regard to legislation regarding time, place, and manner regulation of Congress; and manner regulation for the appointment of presidential electors.  The legislative process, the manner in which they make laws, is entirely up to each individual State.  So "passing a law", might include passage in both houses, and certain timing requirements, and might be subject to a gubernatorial or popular veto (referendum).  The two particular cases where they upheld a veto of a redistricting plan were Hildebrant (popular veto) and Smiley (gubernatorial veto).  But those two instances were auxiliary to the Legislature legislating.

The lawyers for the Arizona redistricting commission are arguing that "legislative power" could mean whatever the State (constitution) says it is.  But when Seth Waxman was making an argument that Hildebrant and Smiley were precedental, Justice Breyer told him he didn't think it was helping his case, but that he was free to continue to argue it.

This suggests that Breyer would be willing to flap his wings and not rely on precedent but go off interpreting the Constitution do novo.  But that will lose Justice Kennedy.
75  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Per SCOTUS, initiative created redistricting commissions may be l'histoire on: March 05, 2015, 10:48:35 pm
When will the General Assembly draw the gerrymander?
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