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New Jersey’s “Independent” Redistricting Commission Perfects Gerrymandering

The Democrats love to criticize gerrymandering in Republican states (in some cases they are right), but they should look in the mirror at what is happening in states like Illinois and New Jersey, where Republicans are being completely shut out.

Take New Jersey. Liberals and good government groups have long touted “independent” commissions to redraw political boundaries after a new Census rather than having self-serving state legislators do the job. Currently, 21 states use some form of commission.

But in Trenton, the state Supreme Court appointed John Wallace to be the “independent” tie-breaker if the Democratic and GOP members deadlocked. After $1 million spent on closed-door meetings, Wallace, who belongs to a law firm joined at the hip to Democrats, chose the congressional map drawn by Democrats – a gerrymander that secures nine or 10 of the state’s 12 Congressional districts for Democrats.

The eye-popping part was Wallace’s public explanation for his choice: “Both delegations adequately applied our standards to their map. In the end, I decided to vote for the Democratic map, simply because in the last redistricting map (10 years ago) it was drawn by the Republicans,” he said. “Thus, I conclude that fairness dictates that the Democrats have the opportunity to have their map used for this next redistricting cycle.”

Wallace’s wife, by the way, is a major recipient of campaign funds from the South Jersey Democratic machine for her own races for public office. It’s time for the Jersey Supreme Court to admit that its “independent” role in redistricting has become a joke that is only solidifying the one party control of the Garden State.

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