Opinion Columns & Blogs

Kansas needs to fix redistricting before 2022

Schmidt
Schmidt

Amid all the noise last month about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions on same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act, justices switched on a green light for something Kansas needs: an independent commission to take the responsibility for redistricting away from the dysfunctional Kansas Legislature. The 5-4 decision endorsed “an endeavor by Arizona voters to address the problem of partisan gerrymandering – the drawing of legislative district lines to subordinate adherents of one political party and entrench a rival party in power.” About a dozen states now let independent, nonpartisan panels redraw their congressional, legislative and other districts once a decade, sparing themselves the political fights and court interventions that Kansas saw in 1982, 1992, 2002 and 2012. As a state senator, Attorney General Derek Schmidt argued for letting an independent entity make the maps, subject to up-or-down legislative approval. Where is he now? – Rhonda Holman

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