As printed in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Your April 20 story, “Judge allows lawsuit on maps to proceed” quoted the judge as saying the plaintiffs, including the Republican Party of New Mexico, made a “strong, well-developed case that [the redistricting bill] is a partisan gerrymander created in an attempt to dilute Republican votes” in congressional elections.
The lawsuit also says legislators “ran roughshod” over traditional redistricting to give Democrats an advantage. These are the same arguments Democrats make when Republican-controlled State Legislatures use the same tactics to redraw districts to shore up votes. Yes redistricting is a partisan gerrymander, which is why former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder started the National Democratic Redistricting Committee that asks candidates and elected officials to sign a Fair Districts Pledge and commit to restoring fairness to State redistricting. Rather than filing lawsuits, maybe Republicans should develop a similar Fair Districts Pledge to end the unfairness of both sides’ redistricting laws.
Jim Melzer, Santa Fe