"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

Pushing it to the edge

NOTE: Oops – the commission had one more day, January 1. (There had been some confusion about whether midnight January 1 applied to the beginning or end of the day.) It’s still rolling, as of midday still unsettled. The remainder of the comments in this post still apply …

Give a schoolchild a deadline of Wednesday morning to deliver a paper, and you can bet they’ll be jamming on it Tuesday night and into the a.m. Reapportionment commissions seem the same.

As it stands, as this is written, the Washington commission is eight hours and change away from turning into pumpkins. They’re scrambling, and maybe they’ll get it done. They’re close enough, they might. But it’s hard to know. The first Idaho commission seemed on the verge of getting it done, and it didn’t. By the time it actually submitted a commonly-agreed on plan, their deadline had passed.

Hope rose last week when the Washington panel appeared to have settled on a congressional map, on which just about everyone weighed on, and candidates entered races. It seemed to be a done deal, especially since no one was strenuously objecting and the only hitch in getting the legislative map done was a minor disagreement in the boundaries of a single Yakima-area district.

And here we are. That one minor disagreement has ballooned, and now everyone seems to be withholding approval. And evidently, if the legislative plan isn’t approved as well, the congressional map is just so many wasted pixels as well – both have to be provided at once.

Will the Washington Supreme Court get to pull out its marking pens? A few hours from now we’ll know.

You can by the way watch the remaining action live. At this writing, they were supposed to return at 3 p.m., and they’re 22 minutes late …

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