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December 17 -- The New Federalism
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HomeSpotlight Story | Bird’s Eye View | Budget & Taxes | Politics & Leadership | Governors | Hot Issues | Once Around the Statehouse Lightly
Government watchdog groups, civil rights organizations and redistricting experts are criticizing a Democratic proposal in NEW JERSEY that seeks to change the state constitution to entrench the party’s power in the Garden State. Democratic leadership in the state is pushing a measure that would require a 2021 redrawing of the state’s 40 districts in a way that would ensure no more than 15 would lean Republican. The measure would force mapmakers to consider partisanship when redrawing districts, something many reformers have pushed to end in other states. The ACLU, the NAACP and The Center for American Progress are among groups that are critical of the measure. (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER)
U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) said this week he won’t run for governor of LOUISIANA, leaving Republicans without a high-profile candidate to challenge Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) but opening the field for other candidates who had been waiting for Kennedy’s decision. On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham (R) said on Twitter that he’ll enter the race. Kennedy reminded political observers why he would be missed if he’d left Capitol Hill, where he’s known as one of the more colorful quotes in Congress. “I hope someone runs for Governor who understands that Louisiana state government does not have to be a big, slow, dumb, wasteful, sometimes corrupt, spend-money-like-it-is-ditchwater, anti-taxpayer, top down institution,” Kennedy said. (TIMES-PICAYUNE [NEW ORLEANS], ROLL CALL)
Starting in January, the FLORIDA Supreme Court will be without an African-American justice for the first time in 36 years. Three state Supreme Court justices must retire because they have reached the mandatory retirement age of 70, and their terms all will end on Jan. 8, the day incoming Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis (R) will take office. Florida governors are required to choose new Supreme Court justices from a list sent to the governor by the Judicial Nominating Commission. That commission, with members all appointed by outgoing Gov. Rick Scott (R), has put forward a list of 11 nominees, none of whom is black. The seven-member court will be without a black justice for the first time since 1983. (NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA)
Embattled Broward County, FLORIDA elections supervisor Brenda Snipes will fight a suspension issued by outgoing Gov. Rick Scott (R). Snipes, who faced criticism over the county’s difficulty conducting recounts, had said she’d step down on Jan. 4. But when Scott suspended Snipes, citing “misfeasance, incompetence and neglect of duty,” she decided to rescind her resignation. Scott, who was elected to the U.S. Senate, noted in an executive order that his campaign sued Snipes for not providing a record of uncounted votes in the county, which includes Fort Lauderdale. The governor also alleges Snipes’ staff misplaced ballots and failed to meet deadlines. Removing Snipes requires a state Senate hearing. Snipes’ backers say the suspension is aimed at embarrassing her. (TAMPA BAY TIMES)
-- Compiled by SNCJ Correspondent DAVID ROYSE