SCA 10
Background and Procedural Information

Senator Alan Lowenthal introduced California Senate Constitutional Amendment 10 on April 23, 2007.  It would place an eleven person independent commission to have authority over redistricting.  

Under the proposed legislation, are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?

Yes.  Single-member districts are required.

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?

This legislation provides for six ranked priorities that the commission should use to determine the shape of the districts.  Complying with the Voting Rights Act is the second highest priority.   

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The California Judicial Council will select ten retired or sitting California Circuit or Appellate Judges, of which five must belong to the two largest political parties in the state to serve as panelists.  The panelists will nominate 55 people for the commissioner spots with 20 from each of the largest political parties in California and 15 not from one of the two largest political parties.  The President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Minority Floor Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the Assembly, and the Floor leader of the Assembly will each strike two of the 55 nominees and then select 2 of the members from their own party to serve as commissioners.  The Fair Political Practices Committee will select the three non-partisan candidates by lot.
Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

No.  There are six goals the commission is instructed to use to determine the shape of districts and forming competitive districts is not one of those goals.   

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?

Yes.  The commission will make map-creating software and census information available to members of the public who may then submit a plan to the commission.  

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

Yes.  There is no provision in the legislation that would prevent mid-decade redistricting. 
October 23rd 2005
Who Should Redistrict?

The New York Times Magazine explains the dilemmas many states, including California, face as they attempt to create competitive and fair congressional districts. Dean Murphy cites FairVote's statistics.

October 15th 2005
Wamp fresh leadership for sagging Republicans
The Tennessean

According to FairVote's Ryan O'Donnell, the Republican party should seize the opportunity to embrace electoral reforms, and take the lead on ending gerrymandering.

October 5th 2005
Mapping the way to a better system
Boston Herald

Why Massachusetts should turn a critical eye towards gerrymandering. This article mentions Fairvote.

October 2nd 2005
Several states may change redistricting process
L.A. Times

Discussion of redistricting practices in California, Massachusetts and Florida. Mentions Tanner's bill.

September 25th 2005
Local GOP breaks with governor to oppose redistricting
Auburn Journal

An article about the debate over a proposal that would give a panel of judges the responsibility of redistricting

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