If it weren’t cost-prohibitive, we would expect Gov. Chris Sununu, House Speaker Sherm Packard, and Senate President Chuck Morse might be burning the midnight oil this week trying to resolve the congressional redistricting issue that overzealous House Republicans have handed them. As elected leaders, the three are no doubt troubled at the thought of having the state Supreme Court draw the boundaries for New Hampshire’s two districts.
The GOP majority should have anticipated that the minority Democrats would head to the court. The map that Republican members presented, with its “I-93” island and wholesale relocation of towns and cities, looked like it came out of a committee to study marijuana, not redistricting. Even if the court were reluctant to interfere, and that is not a given, the facts before it were pretty clear.
The court said that the current population imbalance (District 1 has 18,000 more residents) is unconstitutional and it will move to address it if lawmakers and the governor don’t. Whether they can or cannot do so, it is not the end of the world. If Republicans field good candidates, they can be competitive in both districts this fall.