It’s always depressing to read a glaring example of the straw man fallacy, but it’s particularly so when written in a newspaper of record by a professor of political science. In a column this week, Jeff Sadow essentially asserts that Fair Districts Louisiana is advocating that Louisiana transfer redistricting authority from the Legislature to a citizens’ commission.
In reality, Fair Districts Louisiana has not taken a position on what process the state should use after the 2020 census. Its sole current goal is to bring public awareness on and spark civic dialogue about redistricting. This goal stems from the reality that most of the public is completely unaware of the redistricting process and cannot, therefore, form an opinion on it to inform its choices in the ballot box.
We hope events like the Louisiana Redistricting Summit will bring this important issue to the fore of public consciousness. We are confident that, when presented with the relevant information, the public will want a system that conforms to basic concepts of fairness, and that such a system is attainable. When confronted with what the Republicans did in Wisconsin, where a mere 49 percent of the popular vote led to an astonishing 61 percent representation in that legislature, or with what the Democrats did in Maryland, where the Democratically controlled legislature cravenly used voter histories to flip a district in its own favor, the public will certainly entertain the notion that there could be a better way.
Let’s work together to find it.
Fair Districts Louisiana