Supreme Court Requires More Documents From Tiebreaking Lawmaker In Map Redraw Decision

( The New Jersey Supreme Court ordered the tiebreaker on the Congressional Redistricting Commission to explain his reasoning for voting for the Democrat-created redistricting map.

John E. Wallace, Jr. announced on December 22 that he was choosing the Democrat map because the 2010 redistricting map approved was drawn by Republicans.

Republicans had asked the NJ Supreme Court to affirm Wallace’s reasoning in supporting the Democrat-drawn map.

In his order, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner wrote that Wallace needed to provide a “more detailed statement of reasons.” Rabner explained that court rules permit a trial judge or agency head to submit an amplification of a prior statement or opinion when an appeal is taken up. For that reason, the NJ Supreme Court asked Wallace to expound on the grounds of his decision. Rabner gave Wallace until January 11 to submit his answer to the Court.

And last week, Wallace complied.

He told the court that he selected the Democrat redistricting map because he believed it “better satisfied the standards for partisan fairness.” He also acknowledged that his public statement saying he chose the Democrat map was because the Republican map won the last time, was “wrong.”

He admitted “upon reflection” that he “mistakenly failed” to show the correct amount of concern for “fairness.” Wallace concluded that he should have simply said the Democrat map “better satisfied the standard for Partisan Fairness.”

In short, Wallace admitted that he shouldn’t have said the quiet part out loud.

Wallace, a former New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice, then criticized both Republicans and Democrats, arguing neither delegation took the opportunity to share their map with the other side, therefore only he and his team were able to review and evaluate both maps before the final vote.

Republican chairman Doug Steinhardt is not giving up the fight.

He called Wallace’s revised reasoning “an anemic attempt to backtrack on a clear statement he read from a script at the [December 22] hearing.” Steinhardt argued that, rather than “fair,” the Democrat map contains significant gerrymandering and the Republicans will continue to fight it in court.