C|M|LAW Professor Candice Hoke appeared this morning on WCPN’s Sound of Ideas radio show. The show focused on a proposal by the non-profit group Voters’ First to change the system by which Ohio allocates its state legislative and U.S. House districts. Currently, whichever party is in power is able to exert influence over the process and draw boundary lines to its own benefit. Voters’ First hopes to alter the system to remove much of the politics, but critics argue that the proposal lacks a mechanism for accountability and asks judges to play an improper role. The proposal would ask judges to select and vet redistricting-commission members. The Ohio State Bar Association has expressed deep concerns,” that the setup would be a conflict of interest and undermine the Constitutional doctrine of the separation of powers.”
The proposal would create an independent citizens commission that would always meet in public sessions to discuss redistricting. The commission would include equal numbers of Republicans, Democrats, and independents, who would serve for 10-year terms. They would be charged to create districts that are compact and which minimize division of counties, towns, and and municipalities.
Ohio Republican lawmakers redrew the state’s Congressional boundaries last year. As a result, many districts now appear to favor Republicans at the ballot box. The Voters First proposal will be on the ballot in November. This radio show addressed whether the proposed system would be an improvement over the current one. Other guests included: Professor Dan Tokaji, Ohio State University Law School, Chris Redfern, Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, and Rob Frost, Chair of the Cuyahoga County Republican Party.
To listen or watch, click here: http://www.ideastream.org/soi/entry/48410