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tv   Discussion on Redrawing Congresssional Districts  CSPAN  December 27, 2021 4:36pm-5:39pm EST

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for detainees, military concerns and concerns for the families of the victims of 9/11. watch full coverage on c-span now. >> washington unfiltered. download c-span now today. >> a conversation on redistricting, gerrymandering and how the 2020 census will change future elections. this is an hour. >> 's welcome to this edition of the bully pulpit. today we focus on redistricting, the science, art, and skulduggery. i am a professor and director for the center of political future at usc with our
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codirector. we will lead this discussion together. we will the last 15 minutes of the hour for q&a for the audience. put questions in the chat. ben ginsberg served as national council to the bush-cheney presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2004. in 2012 and 2008, he served as national counsel for mitt romney's presidential campaign. christian gross is a professor of public policy at usc and academic director of the usc schwarzenegger institute for state and global policy. he's an expert on political reforms and voting rights, including independent redistricting commissions. he has also been conducting research about how best to improve voter access and voting rights based around community engaged work.
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michael lee serves the senior counsel for the center at nyu's democracy program where he focuses on voting rights and elections, the writer of a blog on election law issues in texas that the new york times calls indispensable. i'm happy to welcome him since i was once on the board of the brennan center. gloria molina. we are proud she is a fall 2021 fellow at the center for the political future, the first latina elected to california state assembly, the first latina to join the los angeles county board of supervisors. she did not join it. she waged a tough campaign to get on it where she served for more than two decades. i could start with this question. every 10 years, we redistrict
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the house of representatives and state legislatures. gerrymandering has historically been a feature of that process. how important will it be this year, and what impact will it have on the final results? we can start with anyone who would like to start. ben, you are up. ben: thank you. gerrymandering is sort of well into the process. one person's gerrymandered --is a partisan process that takes place. gerrymanderers are other people's fair maps. it will be important the cycle, given the down margin in the u.s. house of representatives and that will be reflected on a
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number of state legislatures, as well. in terms of gerrymander, i understand there are all sorts of remedies in various states that deal with that phenomenon. i would point out in illinois what the democrats have done and the map in texas republicans have done, just announced are two examples of virulent gerrymandering. the other thing i would note is political science seems to suggest acute gerrymanderers can account for 10-12 states in the u.s. house, which could be the majority in the current political environment. there are 435 members, so still a relatively small percentage. bob: do you want to take out on, michael? michael: i would agree with ben that this is certainly a crime both parties would, given the opportunity, commit.
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there is lots of history to suggest that. it is republicans controlling more political processes and redistricting takes place and republicans commit more of the crimes. democrats would be equally opportunistic and i expect they will in states like illinois, and new york, because they don't control many states. democrats only control 75 congressional districts. they have an incentive to maximize what they can do in those states. i think it is important, as we talk about gerrymandering, not to lose sight of the fact that this is not just a d vs r story where what you're seeing happen in texas and elsewhere is
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accomplished at the expense of communities of color, like communities of color are essential, especially in the south because states like texas and georgia, democrats get 25 to 28% of white votes and there aren't a lot of white democrats even today and the problem for most from our standpoint is those white democrats live really close to white republicans in the same neighborhoods in parts of town and sometimes unless you are able to draw a line down somebody's bed, it would be hard to move the partisan dial too much because of residential segregation. it is easy to pack together and break apart communities of color for partisan effect. they are a key part of it, drawing urban-suburban districts. in the urban and suburban areas, what is happening is communities of color are vigorously split apart. it is important to make sure we tell the race and ethnicity story in addition to the partisan story. bob: christian, you sent me a
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note talking about the texas map, which has been characterized as hack and crack. what does that mean and what are the consequences? christian: i want to concur with michael. we focus a lot on partisan gerrymandering but in this cycle, especially the map in texas, the voting rights, people of color, are under fire. this is a racial gerrymander potentially as much partisan one. what is cracking and packing? what happens in racial gerrymandering is legislators, when redrawing lines, will try to pack a lot of black, latino, asian-american voters into one district, like in fort worth, with the district 80% plus people of color. the surrounding districts are mostly white. you have these very white districts that cover most of the state, a majority of the proposed congressional districts in the state are white, even though a majority of the state of texas is not white.
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the cracking is the spreading out of minority voters in the rest of the district, and the packing is putting people of color into one district. that is definitely happening in texas in the proposal that came out yesterday. bob: do you want to weigh in on this gloria? gloria: i know this is all about power, and the reality is who controls the power is very partisan. let's go to the basics. we are re-apportioning after a census. when you look at the census numbers today, you would have to look at throughout the country, the latino community has been the largest growth community in the country and in states like texas and throughout the southwest but even in the south, we have large numbers of latinos. in texas, i understand there
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will be two additional seats because the growth of the latino population was so large in texas, there should be an opportunity for those congressional seats to go to a "latino opportunity district." in california, we are losing a seat by virtue of our numbers. again, hopefully, if we are doing reapportionment equitably and fairly, we should not lose it in the latino community, because the highest growth is in the latino community. i understand how it all works. i was part of the legislature, and know how reapportionment works throughout the decades. hopefully, we will get into the process of better respecting --and we don't have the voting rights act on our side for the most part even though it is supposed to follow basic rules and laws. many of these will go to the courts as they have and the past. there will be judges who have to make determinations as to
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whether the states are following the basic rules of reapportionment down the line. i think it's important to consider not just the partisan aspect but dealing with the population growth in many of the states if you are going to have an equitable and fair process. in the process, we are getting ourselves ready to go and many of the southern states and certainly in california throughout, some of it is still controlled politically and we have committees set up. even the committees have started in a backward situation. we don't have proportionately the right number of latinos in many committees.
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it will be a battle forward. there will have to be a lot of people talking about this and being advocates throughout but you have to understand and respect the numbers. if you are going to respect those numbers, there should be real opportunity to create latino opportunity districts in southwestern states in the south. bob: mike? mike: thank you, everybody, for joining. i will take a stab at the question and move us to the next one maybe. redistricting is fascinating because so many forces are at stake. we discussed you have the partisan interests. there is a district in california that was only continuous at low tide. there is supposed to be a standard that your district is not 50 feet wide and 250 feet long. you get to the racial dimension
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and you see the politics of this should be a latino district or an african-american districts, which is tricky because the african-american votes so highly correlate to democratic. you will see under the skulduggery part, the republicans will say great, we can dilute democratic districts by making deals with identity groups that we create one more blank district to give us an advantage to flip another. it is a complicated political equation. we will talk later about the redistricting commissions and other mechanics to get around that. i want to put a footnote up. it is important we distinguish redistricting with reapportionment, which is when we decide, based on population which states gain congressional
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seats and lose them. a lot of potential, when you try to handicap the outcome, you may find more republican states gain population and have republicans controlling the process like in texas where you get a maximum partisan attempt. on the other hand, the fascinating thing is the states losing population are getting smaller but becoming bluer. while the local politicians of the blue states try to wipe out a republican district and have some success, keep an eye on adam kinzinger, a courageous republican from illinois, who will probably be punished for that bipartisan redistricting, they will like -- wipe him out. the blue states are becoming bluer, which gives them an opportunity to put the republicans in a threat.
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it is a hard thing to handicap. most people think the republicans will be advantaged by at least two seats in the midterm elections based on redistricting. as gloria said, the courts get involved when the lines get aggressive. this dovetails with what we were talking about about minority seats. there has been a long time tendency to concentrate minority groups into specific districts so their votes don't affect the outcome in neighboring ones. some minority groups argue in favor of that because it gives them an advantage to win the primary and have a member from that constituency represent the district. representative jim clyburn is talking about changing that using south carolina, where he has great experience. is there any process through legislators or the courts that minority voters will be more evenly distributed this year? christian, texas released their
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map we have talked about and you explained the pack and rack thing --i will start with you. do you think that my drive changes --my drive changes or action and the court? ben: are six districts in south carolina. his district was packed heavily, a black majority with no black people elected since reconstruction. it is not clear you need a 60-60 black population to be elected as a black member of congress in south carolina. you can get elected in a 47% to 50% lacked district. south carolina has one third of its state african-american. with six districts, it should
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have two black districts, not one, which it has right now. i think the trade-off between larger black populations, latino populations, asian-american populations in a district does take voters away from surrounding districts that have been more white. that could lead to an aggregate dilution of voting power. if you go to low, you have white legislators being elected and that would be in violation of the voting rights. section v is there but section ii covers all this. you cannot dilute the power for minorities to have a right to access the ballots are redistricting. you cannot pack or crack. as we think about redistricting, going forward, what is that number that is needed? if you look at texas, but they are packing way too much in some of those districts.
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in south carolina, it may be time to think about the right level of voting power for african-americans. the reason this is important is when the voting rights act was passed, everyone had a right to vote in south carolina. the districts were redrawn so white voters were a majority in every district. the reason we think about section ii is because redistricting has been used to dilute the power of voters of color. there will be a lot of litigation. bob: do you want to pick up there? ben: i think whether there is any prospect of change through laws depends on a state-by-state basis. it is harder to find a monolithic answer for what will happen to minority communities,
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especially in light of the recent supreme court rulings in which it is less likely federal courts will intervene. i suspect democrats trying to help themselves will go to the state courts. look at the pennsylvania example from the past decade. i think a little bit -- bob: explain the pennsylvania example because i think it is intriguing what happened there. ben: the pennsylvania legislature came up with a map that was very successful republican gerrymandering. i can't remember the split of the delegation, but in what essentially is a 50-50 state, republicans had two thirds of the congressional delegations. i cannot remember if there were efforts to take that map to federal court.
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the democrats did take it to state court. it went up to the pennsylvania supreme court, which not like all state supreme courts, is elected. the justices had all run for office themselves. it was a 5-2 democratic majority on the pennsylvania supreme court. lo and behold, their remedy was a map that was much more favorable to the democrats, and more or less in line with the overall makeup of the state. i think it will serve as an example for this cycle in aggrieved parties going to stay courts where they can, as opposed to federal courts. it is also, to answer your question, a little bit of history is helpful. the most successful comprehensive gerrymander was
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what democrats managed to do in the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, in 1980's, 40 straight years of democratic control in congress. by god, that was a strong political gerrymander. what broke up the gerrymander was the passage of the voting rights act -- a bipartisan bill driven by democrats -- but that changed the dynamic of redistricting. i think the food fight analogy is the best way to explain it. before the voting rights act, the democrats -- there would be an urban core that was racial minorities, and that urban core would be sliced to elect white democrat liberals in the suburbs.
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what the voting rights act had was you had to keep minority communities intact. you could not dilute them. redistricting became more donuts as opposed to pizza pie slices with concentric circles. that benefited the groups that were historically minorities, african-american, latinos, and republicans. there was a common cause in the 1990's for redistricting, believe it or not, between republicans and racial minority groups that succeeded at doubling the number of african-americans and latinos representatives in congress. what jim clyburn and others have found since the 1990's is some of those racial minority
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districts do not need 65% minority population to win. what the question recognizes is that kind of political evolution that if you keep racial minority groups concentrated in districts, that takes away from democratic majorities. that essentially is what you see playing out with the populations in districts. what that means this cycle, given the supreme court ruling, is quite an open question. goodness knows there will be lots of litigation. bob: michael or gloria, do you want to chime in at all? gloria: i want to say that again, i look at it as activism -- i look at it as an activist and an elected official with a
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very latino on the whole issue of redistricting. the big challenge for us as latinos, as an advocate, the issue of growth has been for martinez in the inner-city and in our big, big cities. the challenge, as we look to drawing the lines, we are going to have to be very concerned as to how we deal with the african-american community and the asian community and the inner-city. to be fair and effective because we have all gone in the inner-city. it will be a challenge as well, as we look at city council seats and commissioners or board of supervisor seats. those will be important issue but it's hard to tell how that is all going to work. when you look at the number of minorities or latinos, most of the growth has been in the large cities. the challenge for us is o be how to create seats so you are equitable with sitting
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numbers of not the challenge for us is going to be how to create seats so you are equitable with sitting numbers of not just congress but . that will be challenging issues for us as we look at this through a latino lens. bob: i think the issue you raised about these historically majority-black districts and others is important and interesting. in many places of the country, i don't think it is becoming an issue increasingly. the voting rights act was in a segregated world that was black and white. it wasn't racial in the way we are today. it was designed for a world where people were segregated into district-sized units and not units anymore increasingly. most people of color lived in
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the suburbs, not the cities, and in the suburbs, there is a lot of natural competition. in fort bend county outside of houston, it is the most diverse county in the country. you go there and there are tamales. it is a very diverse area. it's a natural district that kept communities together. there would be a lot of multiracial coalitions to have to have one to elect. the challenge is in those areas, minority power is the future outside the or records -- urban cores. how to protect it will be hard because the voting rights act does not apply --it is more ambiguous and harder to draw districts that comply with all the departments of law. if that is wired you see a lot of these districts like the
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suburbs and gwinnett county, georgia, 90% white in 19 90 and 30% white today. sugar land, texas, where tom delay is from is 40% asian. figuring out how to have a framework that protects communities of color in these diverse suburbs will be the challenge and it will not be trying to draw 50% black districts or asian districts, figuring out how to protect multiracial districts. bob: can we talk about independent redistricting commissions? we have one in california. a lot of states have the decision-making power. other states have a joint function of the commissions and the state legislatures. are these independent commissions really independent? do they result in fair apportionment, or is a result a
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mixed bag depending on the state? >> i will say mixed bag but somebody can argue with me. they are the gold standard but they don't have some of the issues as far as counterbalancing it. who thinks it is fantastic? >> it depends how you define the commission. >> what is the worst? >> new jersey. new jersey is up there. >> ohio. >> -- >> they are bipartisan commissions that are closely tied to the political process where people have -- sometimes they are legislators themselves were directly appointed by people. ither the more independent commissions like california where you have to write five
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essays if you want to be in the district in before three auditors. it is a 90 minute interview. lawmakers are not as directly involved in selecting people. the data is limited. california's commission has drawn one set of maps. arizona's commission is in operation longer. the first round everybody was happy and a second round there was more dissent. what we have seen in the states is they aren't wildly gerrymandered. they quit level -- quibble arou nd. they don't draw a 13 by five map or a 10 by three map in north carolina. there is a much greater emphasis on trying to get it right and i think there is evidence that works and when you look at the shenanigans that go on in terms of wrapping a disproportionate number of seats elsewhere, there can be a process.
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redistricting is not one-size-fits-all. breaking up the one-party monopoly like having a supermajority or support from -- the minority party would go a long way to repair the process. gerrymandering occurs because we allow one party to control the process and most states are under equal party control now. bob: christian, governor schwarzenegger was the person who gave us this independent redistricting commission. put it on the ballot and it passed. do you think it works here? christian: i think it works well in california and there are different reasons. i want to preface it with the commission did not move politics from the process. it opens it to more players and a handful of legislators. it is harder to dominate a commission with so many people.
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you have to apply in california and have balance across partisan and the equal number of votes from democrats, diversity, racial, ethnic, and gender. there is all sorts of process components built in that i think , regardless of the archon, gives people more approval. i read a paper at usc where we did a survey of californians and asked what they thought of redistricting we asked what happens if legislators -- if the commission draws the lines and we explained it is equal. there is much more legitimacy in how people in the servi respond -- survey respond when the commissions draw the line. you asked for about example. ohio has a new commission with a lot of promise that the state
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legislative map was passed five-to republican-democrat. this is one of a politician commissions and not an independent commissions. politician commissions in new jersey or california where california works because there are different people from different backgrounds and other backgrounds across the state drawing a map. bob: do a public service announcement here. we may be doing questions. we need questions. to your viewers, you can go to the chat room function and leave your questions and comments and we will read them later. go to the chat room and types of questions. please continue. christian: you were in the assembly under the old system when basically howard berman's brother michael used reapportionment designed primarily to protect incumbents. which system do you like?
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gloria: it was to protect incumbents. that was the first thing everybody took care of, which was fortunate. i think i commission provides more opportunity and fairness. there should be equitable participation and when you look at california, when they did this drawing with the first six members, they were all right. it was incumbent upon those commissioners to equalize the rest of it. at the end of the day, there are at least six latino members if you look at the demographics but that is not the case. i think there is one for sure and potentially too. i don't know exactly. i do not think there are six. bob: how many are there? christian: in the initial draw, there were a number of asian american and white and black members chosen.
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it was a multiracial group. the law in california requires ethnicity and race be considered in the selection of the final group and i think five were latino members chosen in a 14-number commission. gloria: again, our commission process when we do it at a local level is much better. i was on the board of supervisors. everybody protects their own area. they are going to move everything in every direction. it is trying to create an equitable process for the larger good. bob: i would like to shout out a usc graduate on the redistricting commission. we have a usc member of the redistricting commission.
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bob: it will be moved to the channel islands. >> one point, maybe two. if you have commissions that do not include political, it gives more power to the staff. holding up california, a very blue state, is an example of something that would play elsewhere in the country. what a staff can do to a commission next. >> mike braun but iowa is the gold standard of a lot less purple or swing state than they used to be? they are willing around? if i'm wrong, tell me, but what is another state that is a swing
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state with coat -- both parties fighting it out so redistricting as a process is safer partisan success or failure? the commission polices that will. >> i'm interested to see how colorado goes. they have a commission for the first time inserted michigan. i'm not saying they're the best practices but they are to states to watch and see how it goes. ben: all of this is a data point, not a turn. bob: the first michigan map confused me so maybe it was a citizen's because it looked like west michigan was getting lagged. bob: the first california commission map in 2011 got whacked.
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it is good you get to see where is a texas? we got maps on saturday and there is a hearing the next week in the night before. it is not a car p.m. texas time and they released more maps that they want people to talk about at the hearing. the one hearing was going to happen out of 42 that the commission had. >> the census data was delayed this year as a result of the covid crisis. is that going to affect redistricting and how has it? ultimately, will it matter much or not at all? >> i think you already see states using it as an excuse and that is one way. in texas, they said we would have loved to have gone around the state and have lots of
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testimony per covid interfered, which is weird because the legislature took requiring testimony to be in person. there is no covid crisis that required you to testify in person. they could knock around the state if you are tested because of covid. the other thing that they play out is redistricting is later than normally this year and never leave less time for litigation. bob: probably more maps in a decade because of litigation. >> what may happen is the districts will be drawn in the cases will be filed. they cannot be settled in time for 2022 but may be they will be settled for 2024 and you will have to get new maps. >> they will have to be new maps.
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they're going to be done much more quickly and less carefully probably in the litigation will be ongoing. >> q think the census plays a big role this year or was that a lot of noise? president trump tried to get the figures up before he left office and include people -- exclude noncitizens, which field but the census was delayed. >> i have a question for the other panelists that may be a ticking time bomb. how accurate do we think the census is? i think that there is state to say because some states spend a lot of money to get their numbers up and others like texas did not so it is conceivable
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there is an undercount in states . latinos could conceivably register to vote over the course of the decade so this is the equivalent of new communities springing up that will distort the current lines. the second question is the census added a feature to keep individualized entities of monomers -- anonymous so the numbers are less precise so for people trying to draw 74 bill burton districts, it is not as pinpoint accurate. that may affect some districts on the edge of gerrymandering. bob: anybody else have a take on
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this? >> then, the latter point, this is redistricting. this is getting into the weeds of redistricting. people from where i understand, less of a problem, the higher aggregations you go here to large populations at the congressional level will not make a huge difference but maybe mall districts with states that don't have a lot of people come up district part can be something. i'm worried about counts and the census is never right. there are a lot of people undercounted and it is the best numbers we have every decade. >> i would expect litigation because we are americans and litigate over everything.
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redistricting is about political power and i think those fights will be different across the country. they may be inconsistent with one another. i think many people have concerns, some legitimate, some political. i would expect redistricting fights over the next few years, some fights over the census. bob: do you want to take this? we have a bunch of audience questions mike: yeah. as a practical politician, i have a question because all politicians love redistricting politics because it is about how to screw the other side out of the seat or two. the governor and i in michigan tried to figure out how to redistrict and the democrats are very good at it, too. does anybody in the real-world care, or is this just a squabbling thing? they will vote the blue team or
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the red team or they are a swing voter and whether or not --as long as my blue governor did the right thing and wiped out the red republicans in texas --does anybody vote on that? the easy part of the question, why should they? >> i think the amount of redistricting was a testament to the response to the maps you saw past like in ohio and pennsylvania. it catalyzed a lot of reform and you talk to people, michigan and ohio, in efforts to reform the process, people in michigan will say they went door-to-door, knocked on. republican and democratic doors. everybody was ready to take the power out of the hands of politicians. the polling shows 10 or 15 years ago, you talk about
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redistricting and now it affects the polls but it didn't. some voters in gerrymandered states respond to this and it is an issue they care aboutm one of the most popular things like the freedom to vote act 20 talk about what it does. gerrymandering, they are like "wooo". it is an issue of residents increasingly. bob: if u.s. people to question, do you like gerrymandering? the answer to that is no. i don't know an election where a candidate has won or lost because of her actions on redistricting. di --i don't think he comes down to a ballot box issue. i did a family focus group on this in the 1990's. i got the most eye roles ever for my two kids when i insisted
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on naming the family pet gerrymander. >> that is where i from on the east side of detroit. they think it is a scottish dance. my dad was one of them banging on doors, trying to have the reforms. maybe it has been an awakening. >> if you can get a nonpartisan commission on a ballot in states where you can do initiatives, for example, i think it probably does get overwhelming support for people. i mean, christian, how big was the vote in california on this issue? christian: i don't recall the amount but you are right. governor schwarzenegger --one thing he ran on during the recall and his reelection was reform that was bipartisan. he was a proponent of this. he had a unique coalition of common cause and all sorts of secrets on the left and right,
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charles lindbergh junior, people not working together, and it didn't. . first. it was hard to explain to voters in the first couple of times, it had opposition but it passed, firstly legislator and then congress and then it went from there. michigan adopted a similar commission to california. colorado has adopted a commission and so did arizona. there's was different but these things are popular in it seems almost every state, whether an initiative, commissions have been passed or some fort -- sort of commission because they would be passed. bob: i was involved with arnold as a consultant. states that are already faithfully in one party are more comfortable with it because they think they already won. the other party, we have nothing to lose, we are so behind. the street -- swing states where redistricting is so big and the
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people who run --they understand it. they don't love it but they understand it so it is one of these things. i think the trend is moving toward it. should we go to questions? question number one it's from anonymous. how would passage of the john lewis voting rights act change the calculus of redistricting? bob: it would make several changes. it would put some states back under limits, which is important. it also does do a number of changes. it makes clear minority coalition districts are protected under the voting rights act. most circuits already say that would be overruled. there are key changes.
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the more important is the freedom to vote act, which is a companion to the for the people act, that would ban partisan gerrymandering and congressional redistricting by statute. it would significantly --gerrymandering cases can only be brought in washington, d.c. na --any appeals would be to the d.c. circuit court of appeals. there are a number of - it would be harder to block remedial maps. bob: that is joe manchin's bill. i don't see much prospect of it passing, because you have to get 60 votes. you have to overcome a filibuster. unless there is a carveout for voting rights, i don't see how it passes.
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michael: everything is impossible in washington until they figure something out. the ending of the filibuster on judges, like people went to work that morning not knowing it would happen and it got announced by the majority leader that they were going to do that and it was done. things can happen very fast. i'm not predicting the will in this case but they could. we will have to see. there is still time to pass and we will see. bob: i heardbob: a joke about a game show host running for president. question number two from diane wallace. i participated in the california commission meetings in west analyte and the south bay 10 years ago. the community members were present and represented the diversity of l.a. are there any other states with an abundance of participation and input from community members? >> that's happened in other
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commissioned states. income i stared -- in my spare time, i watch commission meetings on my computer. colorado had hundreds of people submit comments to their commission over the last several weeks. in ohio, there is a politician commission and a bunch of people showed up even though there weren't a lot of them. i think you see that in different states, peaceful submitting details about what community matters to them, what geography matters to them, and ways the commission process. you can have this with legislature to. as long as you have time to let people talk.
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>> legislature without a commission will have a lot of public hearings and let people submit maps. they are available so people can submit maps. the legislature believes it maps ---it's maps will stand up to court scrutiny. they will do what they ultimately want to do. mike: we have a skulduggery question. even with public commissions, does the persistence of "shadow processes" that run parallel to these commissions make the idea of a nonpartisan objective redistricting effort moved -- moot? >> i would not say it makes it moot but whenever you have any system, people will try to
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figure out a way to gain it and use the rules in place in the process strategically. you know, when the court required districts to be evenly populated, for a while, there was a lot of gerrymandering. some districts had 500 and others had 15,000 but over time, people used those things strategically and there are constraints that i do think, you know, there is so much at stake in redistricting that they are living for constant vigilance. you know, the reality is that commissions are much more public and there is much more air to insulate. the genius of an independent commission is not that it is heavily populated but it has the checks and balances.
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in california, it can be democrats, republicans and democrats. democrats can't keep up with independence so screwed republicans, you can't do that. you need republicans. the number of checks and balances. >> can i for one thing in? in the old days, before we had a commission in california, was there much public input into the maps? did they just come out of incumbent protection system that works in favor of republicans? gloria: in the legislature, that was not the case. we had superficial hearings. it all happened behind closed doors in the legislature. whatever input we have seen provided, it was not that at all. it was really just a couple of people that time. in the local level of city council and the supervisors board, it was much more direct input. i think people, particularly
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with communities of interest, there were, you know, that was part of the equation. people came together and expressed themselves in that way. that had an impact from time to time besides minority participation. there was much more attention at the local level, maybe because there was more scrutiny or what. in the state legislature, that was not the case. they had hearings and fieldwork but honestly, it was all behind-the-scenes. the legislators did not know what they were doing until the map was made public. bob: [laughter] it was all done at table six. that's my table. on a cocktail napkin. ok, this is question five from anonymous --a different anonymous. democrats are likely to lose the house for many reasons. is there any scenario involving redistricting after the census
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that can negate the republican advantages? ok, that is from the mirror image of donald trump. can we use something to undo the election retroactively? i'm sure you have thought about that. what do you say? ben: i think the question goes to really reverse madness. read district --mid decade redistricting is frowned upon so if there is a switch in political power, it is unlikely to work that way. you don't challenge a map. that is essentially the way you reverse the political result. pennsylvania is an example. >> let me weigh in. i think that republicans will get an advantage of the redistricting process. i don't think it will be as big
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as people want -- thought months ago but they will get an advantage. what will really played the decisive role in the midterms, in my view, is how president biden and the democratic congress are doing. if they have a train wreck this week on infrastructure and reconciliation, both of those bills go down, i think it could be a very difficult democratic year. some form of both of those bills passed, bipartisan infrastructure, we know the form but if some form of reconciliation passes, cobit is under control in the economy is doing well. democrats might have a better chance. redistricting does not determine the outcome but it can help shape the outcome. that is my view. >> the tailwinds are toward the gop. this is a huge week to see what happens. here's a question from valerie,
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a good one. section two of the voting rights act of 1965 says minorities should have representatives that look like them. if i understood the presenter, it would be better not to try to hack the black vote for that purpose. mike: mike, your sound has gone off. >> it was a great question. mike: can you hear me? florida. it i'm just trying to translate the question. we have never had a black representative in this district. how can we get a representative who comes from the minority communities since our state legislature is gop controlled? if you are a political
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entrepreneur, you may like stacking because it will advantage your district to beat the other five white candidates in the primary. what is the question and who talked about this? christian: i think the other thing that came up earlier about increasing multiracial and all that, i think there is a lot a racially polarized voting. that is what section two is supposed to protect against so that minority voters vote together in contrast to white voters. i think that runs the country but with multiracial and multiethnic change in the country, we have to look at, can group spoke together to elect a black or latino member of congress or an asian member of congress? there is crossover right voting i think is happening in suburban areas and urban areas that was not the case depending on the state. in florida, to talk about florida, it has a law that
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requires the state legislature not consider partisan gerrymandering. it did not go as well in the last decade. there was litigation around that. it does have a lot to constrain this to legislature to consider not doing as much partisan gerrymandering and also to consider this. one thing i would do if you live in florida and that is important to you, i would write your legislature. i would use a redistricting software or other applications available on the internet and submit your own maps and make that suggestion. mike: the law was written by the same legislature who broke the law if oreo cookies should be eaten by seven euros. -- seven-year-olds. >> it was an amendment to the state constitution by popular vote.
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the democrats wanted and the state stayed every bit as republican as before, which goes to one of the underlying phenomena, demographically in the country that impact the district. in the last 15 years, there has been -- there has been a big source where we live more with people like ourselves. that impacts redistricting, because dividing up communities creates political outcomes and leaves the districts less and less compact. we do have tension between wanting to preserve communitie, create competitive districts that --it gets more and more extreme every decade it's --
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decade. >> you said it was a democratic change to the constitution passed by over 50% in florida is a 51-49 state. that was supported by swaths of the florida public and the legislature had different things that didn't follow the constitution. it was passed by ballot initiative. >> nonetheless, republicans are controlling state legislature and statewide constitutional opposition in court. . that people will vote for redistricting commissions does not impact individual >> there is one statewide office in florida controlled by a democrat, the agricultural commissioner running for governor. >> one out of six, right?
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>> the maps were struck down in litigation last decade and a partially we drawn -- redrawn. florida is a republican leaning state. it is not surprising he produces a republican legislature at all. it is not republican to the extent that maps were drawn like ohio, but the maps that were passed a few weeks ago create a public super majority. republican as ohio is is not a super majority republican state. that is what some of the fights are about. >> we are going to come back with charts, graphs, and more mathematical equations for our sequel of this. in the meantime these mark your calendar where our guest will unpack the impact of the mighty
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spanish electorate. that will be on tuesday, october 5. thank you, everybody, for dissipating -- participating. >> i want to think everyone on the panel. it was intellectually stimulating, it was provocative, stimulating even though we have areas of disagreem announcer: a panel of military officials and advocates testified about the ongoing operations of the military prison at guantanamo bay. -- talked about rights for detainees, national security concerns and closure for the victims of 9/11. watch tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, or c-spannow, our new video app. announcer: u.s. capitol police chief talks about the cost of defending


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