Common Cause Statement on Court Ordered Congressional Redistricting Plan

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Susan Lerner

March 20, 2012


Common Cause Statement on Court Ordered Congressional Redistricting Plan

In response to the court’s ordered redistricting plan for Congress released yesterday, Common Cause NY Executive Director, Susan Lerner, issued the following statement:

“The court’s ordered redistricting plan for Congress represents a key victory for the voters, not only in product, but process. The map is a stark departure from the Legislature’s gerrymandered version to produce a far better result, demonstrating beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there is in fact no practical impediment to drawing fair maps, only a political one. Judging by traditional redistricting principles and communities of interest, this is the best Congressional district plan New York has seen in decades.

Common Cause NY is pleased to see that the ordered plan included many of our suggestions to accomplish in days what the Legislature could not do in months: produce a fair map which prioritizes communities of interest and reflects the regional make-up of New York State. Because of the court’s outstanding efforts, voters now have a map which disregards incumbency and party politics to produce more competitive elections, and hence, a stronger democracy. The court rightly rejected the notion that the benefits of incumbency are so self-evident that incumbents should be aided by a thumb on the scale at the time of reapportionment. Our constitution is designed to protect the public interest, not the self-serving interests of the Legislature. “

New Yorkers deserve real permanent reform of the redistricting process, and Common Cause NY is committed to working toward a truly independent process.

For a full discussion of the court’s plan compared to the Common Cause plan please see our blog:

In December, Common Cause NY created a set of statewide reform redistricting maps, including a congressional plan, which have been widely hailed as a fair and viable alternative to LATFOR ‘s official proposals by Newsday, the New York Times, Daily News, Syracuse Post Standard, and others.