Monday, December 01, 2003

What happens with a do-nothing legislature

Today's ruling in the Colorado redistricting case shows what happens when the legislature failed time after time to amend the Colorado laws for congressional districts after the 2000 census gave the state an additional seat in Congress, with the result that a court imposed a plan for the 2002 election. In 2003, the state legislature finally passed a redistricting law with 7 not 6 districts, but today the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in this opinion that the legislature missed its chance to act on the 2000 census and will have to wait until the next go-round. The Court concluded "that when the General Assembly fails to provide a constitutional redistricting plan in the face of an upcoming election and courts are forced to step in, these judicially-created districts are just as binding and permanent as districts created by the General Assembly."

There is some appeal to the doctrine of "use it or lose it." I wonder what was going on in the Colorado legislature in 2001 and 2002.

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