New York Times: Prisons and Redistricting editorial celebrates victory of New York law

by Leah Sakala, December 22, 2011

New York Times editorial thumbnail Today, the New York Times printed an editorial praising a New York Supreme Court judge’s decision to uphold the law that ended prison-based gerrymandering in New York. The law had been challenged by plaintiffs in the Little v. LATFOR lawsuit.

As the New York Times editorial board observed:

Many counties with large prisons within their borders have rejected the practice of counting inmates as “residents” when they saw how doing so allowed lightly populated towns near prisons to hijack a disproportionate share of political power while diminishing the power of towns that did not have prisons.

Legislators from upstate districts who challenged the law are well aware of what goes on at the county level. But they were desperate to hold on to a process that apportions political power based not on real constituents but on sleight of hand.

In his ruling, Justice Eugene Devine of the State Supreme Court said the plaintiffs had failed to show that the state law was “anything other than rationally based and constitutionally sound.” The plaintiffs, who are appealing, harm the political process by fighting a law that ensures fairer representation.

All the case documents and selected press coverage are available on our Little v. LATFOR page.

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  • May 15, 2018:
    Our Policy Analyst Lucius Couloute will be at the LEDA Summit on Race and Inclusion in Holland, Michigan, presenting his research on the challenges and disadvantages people face when they are released from prison. Tickets are available on LEDA’s website.

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