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Redistricting Reform: Tanner, Lofgren, Wamp Call for Judiciary Hearings PDF  | Print |  Email
By Rep. John Tanner, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, and Rep. Zach Wamp   
June 17, 2007

Play The ReDistricting Game! 

 

U.S. Reps. John Tanner (D-TN), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Zach Wamp (R-TN) today asked the House Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on Congressional redistricting reform.

Tanner and Wamp have introduced the Fairness and Independence in Redistricting Act (H.R. 543), and Congresswoman Lofgren has introduced the Redistricting Reform Act of 2007 (H.R. 2248). Both bills would create independent commissions in each state to conduct redistricting and would ban mid-decade redistricting.

The text of their letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers and Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lamar Smith follows:

 

Dear Chairman Conyers and Ranking Member Smith:

 

We are writing to ask that your committee hold hearings on the issue of Congressional redistricting reform. Recently, two bills – H.R. 543 and H.R. 2248 – that would reform the process for re-drawing Congressional districts have been introduced and referred to your committee.

Since the time of Elbridge Gerry, state legislatures have used their power to draw Congressional maps for partisan gain. Improvements in technology and an increasing willingness to participate in “mid-decade redistricting” have taken the gerrymandering process to new extremes. As a result, large numbers of voters are being marginalized while the climate in Washington, D.C., has grown more polarized.

Redistricting reform is not and should not be a partisan cause. Both Democrats and Republicans have engaged in gerrymandering and the recent increase in mid-decade redistricting may spark retaliatory measures in other states. That is why good government advocates, public interest groups, major newspaper editorial boards and dozens of Members of Congress have demanded that some type of reform be instituted to guarantee a voice for every voter. It is time for the House of Representatives to examine the process used for drawing its Members' districts.

Under Article I of the Constitution, Congress has the power to regulate how districts for the House are drawn. Again, we ask that you schedule a hearing in the Committee on the Judiciary to review the fundamental problems with the flawed redistricting process and consider some of the solutions that have been proposed.

Sincerely,

John Tanner, M.C.
Zoe Lofgren, M.C.
Zach Wamp, M.C.

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