Cohen Wants “FAIR” Redistricting

Steve Cohen’s weekly email attempt to show what a cool, wonderful congressman he is had another swing at the Constitution.

He has already made known his belief that the Second amendment should be twisted to pry as many guns from lawful citizens as possible and he reiterated it in his email. He writes:

I support President Obama on this initiative and agree that we need a comprehensive approach to reduce and prevent gun violence in our country

. Executive action can and should be part of the process, and many of the executive actions announced by President Obama will have a positive influence on reducing gun violence. But it’s time for Congress to step up and do what needs to be done to save lives. Many of the policies that will have the greatest impact on reducing gun violence will require Congressional action. It’s important that we develop a comprehensive set of policy proposals that both espects peoples’ 2nd Amendment rights and helps keep our communities safe from gun violence.

Of course we won’t be completely safe from gun violence, in the liberals’ minds, until every gun is so highly regulated that no ordinary person can have one.

But in addition, Cohen has now taken aim at the redistricting process as the Constitution presents it.

This week I introduced the John Tanner Fairness and Independence in Redistricting (FAIR) Act, which would require states to take their congressional apportionment out of the political process and place it in the hands of an independent redistricting commission. It’s time to take politics out of the redistricting process. Congress is so polarized today that we’re unable to find common ground on the major issues facing our country. Instead of solving our nation’s problems, Congress is just kicking the can down the road and waiting until the next election for answers. I believe that if we eliminate the gerrymandering of districts we will help get more accomplished for our country.

This legislation was championed for many years by former Congressman John Tanner and was introduced in the last Congress by former Congressman Heath Shuler. Should the legislation become law, beginning after the 2020 census The FAIR Act would require each state to appoint an independent and transparent congressional redistricting commission. The commission would be charged with creating a redistricting plan that emphasizes geographical contiguity and compactness of districts rather than political affiliations or the impact a district’s lines may have on incumbent representatives.

The state legislature and the governor may approve or reject the commission’s plan, but may not amend it. If the governor does not sign into law a plan by November 1st in the year before a congressional reapportionment, the commission may forward plans to the state’s highest court, which may select a plan, but may not make any amendments. If the state court is unable to select a plan, the federal district court must develop and publish a final redistricting plan. The bill also prohibits a state from redistricting until after the next census unless it is under court order to do so.

Shuler, we might note, a three term Blue Dog Democrat from North Carolina, decided to retire after his district became
more Republican friendly. I wouldn’t cry for him as he landed a job working for Duke Energy’s Washington D.C. office, which probably pays a lot better.

Anyhow, whenever Democrats are not in control of a process, they deride it. When they are in control, they use it to the utmost advantage of their party. Now that Republicans are in control, Cohen doesn’t like it. Perhaps he is afraid that some day the population of Memphis will diminish so much that his safe little corner of Shelby County will have to include more conservative suburb areas (horror!). Everything this man does is done with the aim of furthering himself.

When our party has been in the minority, we accept it. When we are in the majority, we know that if we carved out districts favorable to ourselves a court would come along and smack it. Cohen just doesn’t like being at a disadvantage.

Cohen took to the floor this week to continue his rant, criticizing the GOP’s understanding of the Constitution and calling it a living document that is not perfect. He even manages to work in slavery and Jim Crow in this almost two minute clip. He lauds Roe v. Wade and points out the limitations of the Constitution:

If you want to see whose getting grants this week, courtesy of Cohen, here’s the link: http://cohen.house.gov/sites/cohen.house.gov/files/0182013.pdf

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