So, what do you guys think about Jane Kidd threatening to sue the state if they allow the redistricting to take place?
To be honest with you, we don’t know what to make of the whole thing, but that’s never stopped us before. So here are a few random musings.
First of all, whether or not you think a lawsuit is valid (we’ll get to that in a moment), we think that Jane Kidd is probably the wrong person to file this suit. First of all, it’s going to be seen as political posturing, and it’s going to leave her open to be attacked on that front whether or not she is, in fact, posturing. The GOP could well take the line that, instead of working for votes, she’s wasting her resources fighting the redistricting in court. And, you know what? There may be something to that argument. There’s no doubt that Kidd may be being handed some electoral lemons here, but – well, you know the rest.
Second point. None of that stuff above necessarily means that no one should fight the redistricting in court – just not Jane Kidd. But there have to be tons of advocacy groups just champing at the bit to get this one in a courtroom, right?
Which brings us to our third random musing. Is there a case to be made here? I don’t know from law (why do you think we keep DiDDY around?), but I’m not so sure that there’s a successful case here. Perhaps our legal editor will kindly weigh in on this one and set me straight.
Also, as Hillary points out, if Sonny wants this thing to pass, he actually does have to sign it. You see, in order to get this thing to DOJ for review, we’ve got to get it there before April 24. Unfortunately, the 40 day window (in which any legislation unsigned by the Governor automatically becomes law) expires after April 24. So, if Sonny doesn’t sign it, the bill doesn’t get to DOJ in time, and the whole redistricting is a moot point, at least for the 2006 cycle. This is kind of interesting to us, since it effectively eliminates a lot of Sonny’s political cover. According to the Governor’s camp, he still hasn’t made a decision. We doubt that’s entirely true, but we also suggest that the Athens redistricting, as big an issue as it is here, is hardly on top of the Governor’s to-do list. Rampant speculation on our part, but we’re guessing that the folks in Perdue’s office are really wishing that they could take a pass on this one – that would explain their hesitation. We would speculate that he probably will sign the bill, in order to keep his allies under the Gold Dome off his case (and one thing you can say about Sonny Perdue is that he does take care of the folks who take care of him). He’ll probably sign it at the last possible second he can, and try to get it out on a news cycle dump day (Fridays are good for that – ask the current White House press office) in order to minimize the fallout as much as possible. Not that the fallout will be particularly overwhelming. The ABH will bitch and moan, Pete McCommons will pen a clever and scathing column in Flagpole, and local blogs like us will raise holy hell for about a week. None of that matters, because Sonny lost Athens by a significant margin and will probably do so again come the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November 2006.
Finally, we would be remiss if we didn’t point out that as of now, Jane Kidd is only considering a lawsuit. It ain’t a done deal. We’d remind you that Kidd considered dropping out of the Senate race earlier and didn’t act on it – a good idea in our book. So, we may be making much ado about nothing here.
So, to sum up. Yeah, maybe somebody should fight it in court, although we’d rather it not be Jane Kidd, and we’re not sure how strong the case really is. What do you think?
Related: Antidisingenousmentarianism: “Hobbyhorse” 02/28/06
Athens Banner-Herald: “Kidd threatens suit over district plans” 02/28/06