Volume 23, Issue 2: Redistricting in the 2010s

Articles

Communities and the California Commission

The California redistricting initiatives in 2008 and 2010 were unique in that they placed extreme importance on subdivision and maintenance of community integrity. Analysis of the performance of the initiatives has found that the districts became more compact and provided greater minority representation. This Article assesses how closely California’s old and new districting coincides with natural geographic communities of interest. Read more about Communities and the California Commission

  • June 2012
  • 23 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 281
  • Article

Drawing Voters Back Into the Electoral Process: Why and How

Redistricting has long served as a process that regularly ensures equal protection under the law. In Baker v. Carr, the U.S. Supreme Court even found that failure to redistrict constitutes denying citizens of their equal protection rights. This Article explores the polarization about redistricting. While it achieves the “one person, one vote” standard set by the Court, it also affords profound power to members of state legislatures, who can redraw districts to achieve a partisan objective at any time. Read more about Drawing Voters Back Into the Electoral Process: Why and How

  • June 2012
  • 23 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 335
  • Article

Drawing Lines in Shifting Sands: the DOJ, the VRA, and the 2011 Redistricting Process

Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act has many unique features, including its selective application to regions of the United States and its reauthorization periods. Even more exceptional, it affords the Department of Justice the power to prevent electoral processes deemed unfair. However, this distinct power is why many criticize the DOJ for the decisions it makes. This Article discusses why the redistricting cycle is so contended and analyzes the high profile preclearance denials issued by the VRA. Read more about Drawing Lines in Shifting Sands: the DOJ, the VRA, and the 2011 Redistricting Process

  • June 2012
  • 23 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 345
  • Article

Redistricting in Today's Shifting Racial Landscape

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 served as the hallmark of the Civil Rights Era, ending the disenfranchisement that was a morally, clearly defined issue. While the issue of voting equality has not entirely disappeared, the conversation has changed. The issue has shifted to how numerous factors, such as at-large voting and district lines, dilute the minority vote. This Article discusses the VRA in greater detail, including the history of the contended preclearance provision and the role of the Justice Department in enforcing the law. Read more about Redistricting in Today's Shifting Racial Landscape

  • June 2012
  • 23 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 373
  • Article

Democrats at DOJ: Why Partisan Use of the Voting Rights Act Might Not Be So Bad After All

In both Texas v. United States and Georgia v. Ashcroft, state attorney generals designed districts that gave a disproportionate number of seats to either Republican or Democratic candidates at a time when the Department of Justice was under the partisan control of the opposing party. While there are many similar dynamics in both cases, they demonstrate that Democrats and Republicans enforce voting rights differently. This Article explore whether there should be concern for partisan use of the VRA by the Department of Justice. Read more about Democrats at DOJ: Why Partisan Use of the Voting Rights Act Might Not Be So Bad After All

  • June 2012
  • 23 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 415
  • Article

Seats, Votes, Citizens, and the One Person, One Vote Problem

From its origination in Gray v. Sanders, the “one person, one vote” phrase has been used in numerous legal arguments for establishing equal protection. However, two decades after its origination, the Supreme Court changed its standard of absolute equality in congressional district populations by allowing for variance that was explicable. This Article engages this phrase in the debate regarding citizen apportionment. Read more about Seats, Votes, Citizens, and the One Person, One Vote Problem

  • June 2012
  • 23 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 431
  • Article

Drafting Proper Short Bill Titles: Do States Have the Answer?

The titles of short bills often serve as legal reference points for legislation. Over the past quarter century, federal short bill titles have transitioned to a naming style that is saturated in evocative language to gain greater support and political advantage. However, states have short title policies that prevent such language that is seen at the federal level. This Article explores the federal bill drafting process and how it has increasingly become an issue. Read more about Drafting Proper Short Bill Titles: Do States Have the Answer?

  • June 2012
  • 23 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 455
  • Article

The Cure for What Ails: A Realistic Remedy for the Medical Malpractice "Crisis"

There are two sides to the escalating medical malpractice crisis. Physicians feel the crisis is affecting the delivery of quality medical care, as being sued is thought of as a random event with no correlation to the quality of care they provide. On the other side, plaintiffs see the crisis as resulting from the negligent medical care that is rampant in our healthcare system. Read more about The Cure for What Ails: A Realistic Remedy for the Medical Malpractice "Crisis"

  • June 2012
  • 23 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 477
  • Article

Notes

Reforming Public Pensions in Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Retirement Security Act of 2011 drastically altered the pension benefits received by state employees, a trend that has occurred in numerous states over the past few years. This Note explores the implications of this act due the gravity of Rhode Island’s public pension crisis, the ambitious scope of its reform measures, and the potential implications it has for reform across the country. Read more about Reforming Public Pensions in Rhode Island

  • June 2012
  • 23 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 523
  • Note

A Blanket Too Short and Too Narrow: California's Nonpartisan Blanket Primary

William B. Jackson

California’s ballot initiative process has been the cause of immense controversy regarding giving too much power to the majorities through direct democracy. In 2010, voters passed the most recent controversial initiative – the Top Two Candidates Primary Act. This Act requires that all elections, excluding the presidential primaries, be nonpartisan blanket primaries, in which all candidates from all parties are merged onto a single ballot for voters to select their top choice from. Read more about A Blanket Too Short and Too Narrow: California's Nonpartisan Blanket Primary

  • June 2012
  • 23 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 535
  • Note