Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Anti- Gerrymandering Amendment 

Here's my draft of an amendment to the US Constitution that would solve the gerrymandering problem. I wanted to post it as a comment on Citizen Smash's blog, but missed the deadline.

The boundaries of all electoral districts for Members of Congress and State Legislators that are not elected at large shall be determined by a nonpartisan panel of not less than five persons whose members shall be appointed by the Governor and approved by at least 2/3 of the members of the Legislature of each State. The boundaries of electoral districts shall be determined using the following criteria: the population of each electoral district shall not very from the mean population of all such districts within a State by more than one percent; each electoral district shall be contiguous; no electoral district shall be designed to favor or disfavor any candidate, political party or organization, race or ethnic group and no information relating to any candidate, political party or organization, race or ethnic group shall be considered in determining the boundaries of any such district; to the extent practicable using the best available generally accepted technology, the ratio of the circumference of any such district to its area shall be minimized; to the extent consistent with the foregoing criteria, the boundaries of such electoral districts shall be coterminous with the existing boundaries of political subdivisions of the several States.

If a court shall find by clear and convincing evidence that the provisions of this Amendment shall have been purposely or recklessly disregarded in establishing the boundaries of electoral districts, the boundaries so established shall be void and the results of any elections conducted thereunder shall be nullified and any resulting vacancies in office shall be filled in accordance with applicable law. Appeals of such a finding shall be made directly to the United States Supreme Court, in the case of Congressional districts, or to the court of last resort within the State, in the case of State legislative districts.

Districts shall be reapportioned as soon as practicable following the ratification of this Amendment, using the most recent United States Census data, and thereafter no more often than once following the publication of each United States Census, unless the districts shall have been found to be void in accordance herewith.

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