More On McCoy’s Statement
Earlier today, on the eve of a crucial vote in the Senate on redistricting, Speaker Billy McCoy unleashed a tirade saying he will ignore what that chamber does and consider the House maps law as they have passed the House.
McCoy said he has no interest in conferencing with the Senate, and as far as he is concerned the matter is settled and apparently going to the Justice Department for review and- in McCoy’s mind- eventual implementation.
Here is some more on the statement and events surrounding it:
** This was obviously meant to be a threat to Senate Republican to simply Concur with the House version of JR 201. Honestly, I don’t see how statements like this do anything but strengthen Republican resistance to the House plan in the Senate. If you were a Republican Senator who was on the fence; how do you now vote for McCoy on this?
** Obviously JR 201 is not law if it doesn’t clear the Senate. McCoy, you would hope, knows this. The likely scenario is someone affiliated with the Democratic Party files suit when they don’t get a new map and they offer the Reynolds map as a solution. Of course, Republicans have their own map too. At this time, lawsuits are about the only thing that is certain.
** From what I am looking at, the worst-case scenario for Republicans is running under the Reynolds map. Any map produced by the courts will be better for the GOP. What the courts would do is simply draw lines with as small changes as possible to make up for population shifts, but certainly wouldn’t be far reaching like the House Democrats were.
** Statement from Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant: “I am disappointed that Speaker McCoy has announced that he will not follow the law as the redistricting process goes forward. As the Senate prepares to vote and send the House and Senate plans to a conference committee, moving forward with the legislative process is the appropriate and lawful thing to do. The legislature must rest on the rule of law, not the antiquated traditions that were designed to keep the powerful in power.”
** Statement from Mississippians For Fair Redistricting: “The House leadership’s refusal to address the flaws in their plan is unfortunate. If the Senate declines to concur but instead invites conference, a joint conference would be the last opportunity for the House and Senate to craft a legal plan. If the Speaker follows through on his threat to refuse to appoint conferees, then the House leadership, and no one else, will have failed to make every effort to meet their constitutional duty to redraw districts for the next decade.”