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86 Ind. L.J. Supp. 1 (2010-2011)

handle is hein.journals/spplmntinlj3 and id is 1 raw text is: Community as a Redistricting Principle:
Consulting Media Markets in Drawing District Lines
Very soon, legislators, commissioners, and judges will begin battling over how
to draw the lines for the next decade's legislative districts. In trying to meet the
federal legal requirements, line drawers will look at federal requirements like
population equality' and race; state requirements like protecting county and
municipal   lines,'  compactness,4  and  contiguity;'  and  practical political
requirements like protecting incumbents' and gerrymandering for partisan
advantage. But hopefully, somewhere in the mix, there is room for common-sense
goals like increasing voter participation and drawing districts that fit public
expectations. To achieve these goals, legislative districts, both for Congress and the
state house, should be drawn to reflect the actual communities that exist in that
state. A city and its suburbs or nearby neighboring cities share an identity, culture,
and economy that simply ought to be linked in the same district to the extent
possible. Perhaps most importantly, communities often share the same media
* Associate at Sherman & Howard L.L.C. in Denver, Colorado. University of
Michigan J.D. 2009. The author would like to thank Ellen Katz, Laura Davis, and Nicole
Traxler-Wright for their feedback on this Article. The views expressed in this Article are the
author's alone.
1. Karcher v. Daggett, 462 U.S. 725, 732 (1983) (requiring absolute equality of
population in congressional districts).
2. See, e.g., Bartlett v. Strickland, 129 S. Ct. 1231, 1238 (2009) (deciding whether
Voting Rights Act requires a district be drawn to help racial minority elect preferred
candidate) (plurality opinion); see also Ellen D. Katz, From Laredo to Fort Worth: Race,
Politics, and the Texas Redistricting Case, 105 MICH. L. REV. FIRST IMPRESSIONS 38, 39
(2006) ([J]urisdictions must respect at least some existing racially-defined communities ...
3. E.g., MICH. COMP. LAWS § 3.63(c) (2004) (requiring that the redistricting plan break
as few county, city, and township boundaries as reasonably possible); IOWA CODE § 42.4(2)
(2009) ([D]istrict boundaries shall coincide with the boundaries of political subdivisions of
the state.): see also Vieth v. Jubelirer, 541 U.S. 267. 298 (2004) (discussing protection of
political subdivision lines).
4. See, e.g., MONT. CONST. art. 5, § 14; IOWA CODE § 42.4(4) (2009); MICH. COMP.
LAWS § 3.63(c) (2004).
5. See, e.g., MONT. CONST. art. 5, § 14; IOWA CODE § 42.4(3) (2009); MICH. COMP.
LAWS § 3.63(c) (2004).
6. See Vieth, 541 U.S. at 300 (mentioning the time-honored criterion of incumbent
7. Bonnie Erbe, Democrats Must Keep Politics in 2010 Census; Gerrymander-and
Gender-mander Away!,    U.S.  NEWS    &    WORLD    REP.   (Mar.   3,  2009),
census-gerrymander--and-gender-mander--away.html (describing partisan gerrymandering
as a uniquely American tradition, like Thanksgiving).

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