When legislators leave the state. Abandon their job, or doing their job?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by gekaap, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. gekaap
    Offline

    gekaap BANNED

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,795
    Thanks Received:
    135
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +135
    Several years ago when I lived in Texas, the GOP controlled state government was pushing through a "mid-decade" redistricting plan. The redistricting was largely gerrymandering and was clearly designed (unapologetically) to solidify GOP domination in both the state legislatures and the Texan representation in the US House of Representatives. While Democratic opposition was fierce, asserting that the measure was unconstitutional, there was nothing that they could really do. So, they resorted to their only available option, which was to prevent a quorum by leaving the state.

    The tactic delayed the advancement of the measure, but overall the Democrats didn't have the resolve to stick it out very long and they relented to return to Austin and the measure passed along party lines. Portions of the redistricting plan were eventually deemed unconstitutional by the SCOTUS, but I believe not after another election had taken place with the intended solidification of GOP control being realized.

    The recent Wisconsin episode had me thinking about this, and the concept in general. Off the bat, it feels wrong for the legislators to leave the state. Seems like an extreme measure. But at the same time it seems to me that maybe this is just part of the game. State constitutions demand quorums of certain numbers for legislative business to be done. In the US Senate, the filibuster is somewhat an extreme measure to stall a measure moving forward, but it is readily done by both sides when they feel so inclined. A few months ago, Congressional Republicans decided to get tough by holding certain congressional measures "hostage" in order to gain approval of their desired tax cut measure. While many people often dislike these political games, the fact of the matter is that such games are how business is done in politics.

    So, said political games being how business is done, I'm starting to see the whole issue of leaving the state as just another one of those same games. In other words, if state legislatures leave the state in order to delay advancement of a given measure, because they have no other available card in their hand to play, then they are ultimately just doing their job the same as any other politician who filibusters, holds one measure hostage in order to gain support for another measure, etc.
     
  2. California Girl
    Offline

    California Girl BANNED

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    50,337
    Thanks Received:
    8,960
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +8,965
    Seems to me we should remove 'redistricting' from the hands of politicians altogether.
     

Share This Page