Should redistricting reflect partisan national interests?

Control of Congress at stake in redistricting. The redistricting process is underway in states across the country. The outcome will help determine control of the U.S. House of Representatives. In Utah, a big fight will occur over congressional districts, particularly whether one district will be created in which a Democrat has a good chance of winning.

The same scenario will be playing out in states across the country. Democrats, especially, have been saying they oppose gerrymandering for partisan reasons, or to protect incumbents. But those high ideals will be tested in states controlled by Democrats.

The Washington Post reports,  for example, that in New York, which is totally controlled by the Democratic Party, “reconfiguring New York’s congressional districts to benefit Democrats represents perhaps the party’s best shot at keeping the House majority.”

However, voters in New York created a bipartisan redistricting commission. Thus, to draw lines to specifically benefit Democrats, the Democratic legislature will have to “wrestle control” away from the commission, and the “temptation to do so will be great.”

It will be interesting to see if the redistricting process will be “nationalized” to protect partisan interests in Congress. In other words, will Utah Republican legislators say, “Why should we be nice to Democrats in Utah while Democrats are crushing Republicans in states they control?

My prediction is that while all the righteous anti-gerrymandering rhetoric sounds good, both sides will fight like heck to give themselves partisan advantages. It’s nearly impossible to take politics out of the redistricting process.