July 14, 2007

"The Implications of Legislative Power: State Constitutions, State Legislatures and Mid-Decade Redistricting"

Adam Mueller has posted this student note (Boston College Law Review) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

    In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's splintered decision in 2006 in League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry, future federal constitutional challenges to mid-decade redistricting appear to be dead on arrival. Yet, experience demonstrates that state constitutions may provide a viable alternative source for meaningful limits on the ability of states to engage in mid-decade redistricting. Indeed, in combination with constitutional language indicating the time at which redistricting is to occur, the plenary nature of state legislative power compels the conclusion that state legislatures generally lack the power to engage in mid-decade redistricting. Many state supreme courts, including those of South Dakota and Colorado, have already so concluded. When confronting similar constitutional language, this Note contends that future state courts should interpret their constitutions to require redistricting after the national census and before the ensuing general election, and to prohibit redistricting at any other time.

Posted by Rick Hasen at July 14, 2007 08:50 PM