After all of their infighting, Gov. Jay Nixon today rejected the redistricting map Republicans sent to him. Nixon was quoted by The Associated Press as saying the map they had approved “does not adequately protect the interests of all Missourians.”
Lawmakers must now either draft a new proposal or try to push through their original plan by overriding Nixon’s veto, which would require a two-thirds vote. The Senate exceeded that margin when it voted to approve the map, but the House would need to pick up 13 more votes on top of those who endorsed the map in the first place. If lawmakers fail to override a veto and do not develop a map that Nixon signs, Missouri’s congressional districts are likely to be redrawn by the courts.
The courts should be in charge of this sort of thing in the first place. It’s always struck me as perfectly undemocratic to task the majority party with redrawing the Congressional District map. It’s a recipe for mischief and looking at what Republicans sent to the governor rather confirms this. They eliminated Russ Carnahan’s district and merged other Democratic strongholds with more rural districts that reliably vote Republican.
This map is not designed to make Missouri more competitive as Republican lawmakers claim. It’s designed to lock in a permanent GOP majority for another generation. Nixon did the right thing.