John Wallace this morning formally chose the Democrats’ Congressional Redistricting Map, which impales U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski’s (D-7) district on the advantages of those districts occupied by his fellow Democrats, namely districts 3, 5, and 11.
Partisan fairness finally gave the advantage to the Democrats, according to the tiebreaker.
But he didn’t use that to render his final decision, he noted.
“I simply state [that while] the partisan fairness would favor the Democrats’ map. …” he picked the
Democrats’ map this time because in 2011, “The last map was drawn by the Republicans.”
In the interest of fairness, he went with the Democrats this time, he explained.
Wallace started the meeting about 20 minutes late, as Republicans led by their Redistricting Chairman Doug Steinhardt occupied their chairs early, along with Wallace.
Democrats arrived later.
“I am prepared to make a very difficult decision. Both delegations have proposed map that meets the
standards proposed at the outset,” Wallace said at the outset, crediting public testimony over the course of ten hearings.
Twelve districts. Contiguous.
“You can imagine the process was not easy,” admitted Wallace, a retired state Supreme Court Judge. “Both maps comply with the federal population mandate. Both satisfy the voting rights act. Each contains five majority minority districts. Both maps considered communities of interests.”
For his part, Steinhardt griped mildly over the result.
“We’re disappointed,” he said, after the judge delivered his verdict, and right before the redistricting commission formally voted 7-6 to adopt the map, with Wallace adding his “aye” vote to the uniform voices of the Democrats and Republicans voting no as a bloc.NJCD_2021_ADOPTED_DEC22