A Note From Assemblyman Glen Leavitt
I am Republican Assemblyman Glen Leavitt. I represent most of southeastern Clark County from Henderson to Boulder City to Laughlin. I am one of two Republicans, along with Senator Pete Goicoechea, who sit on the Interim Redistricting Committee serving between the 2021 Legislative Session and November’s upcoming Special Session.
The Redistricting Committee or as it is officially titled, “The Committee to Conduct an Investigation into Matters Relating to Reapportionment and Redistricting in Nevada,” is a six-member body consisting of four Democrats, two from the Assembly and two from the Senate, and two Republicans, one each from the Assembly and Senate. This committee held four meetings in order to receive feedback from the public on their concerns, as well as inform the public about how the redistricting process will work. Additionally, the Redistricting Committee is tasked with examining census data, relevant case law, and using various mapping tools that will be used to redraw legislative boundaries.
Once the Redistricting Committee generates a report on these matters, it will be provided to the full legislature. There will be various proposals given by both Democrats and Republicans on what these new legislative boundaries should look like. Both the Assembly and Senate will vote on these proposals and once approved by a majority of legislators, the proposed lines will be sent to the governor for approval. He can either opt to accept them or veto them, just like a regular bill.
This portion of the process raises two main issues for Nevada Republicans. In 2019, the US Supreme Court ruled that partisan redistricting, or gerrymandering, is a political issue, not a legal one and that lines may be drawn to fit partisan goals. With Democrat majorities in both the Assembly and Senate, this means that partisan Democrats will be able to ram through districts that most benefit them in 2022. And with a Democrat governor in the Executive Branch, there is no safeguard to veto these lines like there was with a Republican governor back in 2011 when redistricting last took place. In 2011, Governor Sandoval vetoed legislative Democrat proposals and the matter of redistricting was resolved by the Judiciary Branch. This time around, Governor Sisolak will have no motivation to do the same.
While these issues make it unlikely that redistricting will be friendly to Republicans, we have a winning message for the voters. With the mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the hyper-partisan legislation passed by Democrats, regardless of how much Democrats gerrymander, Republicans will find a way to take back our state in 2022!
Assemblyman Glen Leavitt