Common Cause Statement on Redistricting Court Process

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Susan Lerner

Feb 28, 2012


Common Cause Statement on Redistricting Court Process

At yesterday’s hearing the three judge panel and special master charged with overseeing the redistricting process, acknowledged the Common Cause NY reform redistricting maps, and ordered all stakeholders to provide the master with maps they believe should be considered by Wednesday, February 29th, and to file formal responses to each others’ and Common Cause’s respective proposals, by Friday, March 2nd. US Magistrate and Special Master, Roanne Mann, set a March 12th deadline, to produce final Congressional district maps with a public hearing on that proposal set for March 15. Throughout the proceeding, both the three judge panel and the Magistrate emphasized the short-time frame by which the work must be accomplished and set clear deadlines and criteria by which the map drawing will be accomplished.

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.

We are pleased that the court is considering our plan, and look forward to receiving feedback and providing assistance. In two weeks the courts will do what the Legislature has failed to achieve in months: fast track the redistricting process to produce the fairest possible Congressional lines. Governor Cuomo must hold firm to his promise to veto any quickly announced LATFOR plan and give the courts the most latitude to draw fair lines. As SUNY Buffalo Professor, Jim Gardner, wrote in a recent op-ed in Newsday: “…Cuomo’s veto of the legislature’s bipartisan gerrymander would not create chaos. It would instead open the door to a court-drawn plan that is, very simply, fair.”