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The Stanford University law professor whose previous redistricting map Republicans say locked them out of Connecticut congressional seats was tapped by the state court to draw the newest map.
Connecticut’s state Supreme Court appointed Persily as Special Master to draw the map, which he previously did in 2011 while working at Columbia University.
Persily’s new map makes fewer changes to the existing one, only moving people in already split towns, per reports.
Republicans expect the new map may continue to lock them out of Connecticut’s congressional seats.
“When courts want to impose a Democrat-friendly map, they call on Nate Persily to draw it,” Adam Kincaid, executive director for the National Republican Redistricting Committee, told Fox News Digital.
Connecticut GOP chairman Ben Proto told Fox News Digital in a Wednesday phone call that the state Supreme Court “imposed some very restrictive requirements” on Persily when he drew the map and noted the state Republican party “presented two maps” to Persily “for consideration.”
“At the end of the day, he was somewhat handcuffed by the court’s orders,” Proto said. “He followed the court’s order, but I think there was a better way to draw that map to create congressional districts that were more representative of the community, provided for more opportunity for choice… and they just played around the edges and only played in the five towns that were currently split. They just re-split those towns.”
Proto also said he found it “interesting that the… five House members who are most impacted, obviously, by redistricting were strong supporters of H.R. 1 and H.R. 3, both of which called for the elimination of political gerrymandering,” he also said. “Yet, I guess they only want it to apply in 49 other states, not in the state of Connecticut.”
The chairman also pointed to the “lobster claw” First Congressional District as being a “clearly” gerrymandered district and noted the silence of the lawmakers who voted against political gerrymandering.
Persily has an academic tenure in election maps and served on former President Obama’s Presidential Commission On Election Administration.
The Stanford Law professor also said during a 2019 panel on tech companies and regulating online speech that he believes disinformation “is more prevalent on one side of the spectrum.”
“So difficult for the government to regulate it, whether it’s hate speech or whether it’s disinformation,” Persily said. “Like why do we expect that it’s going to be even easier for Facebook to do it, because whenever Facebook makes these decisions right, it’s always gonna have, they’re gonna be political winners and losers, right, and this is what Alex was dealing with in Congress yesterday and that we’ve always had to deal with, you know, in an environment where disinformation is more prevalent on one side of the spectrum, should the American technology companies put a finger on the scale, all right, so that’s that’s I think sort of at 10,000 feet?”
When asked for comment on the new map and whether he believes the new changes are fair, Persily pointed to the Special Master’s report on the map.