The argument by Republicans that Democrats gerrymandered Oregon’s congressional districts took a hit on Monday.
A “special master” issued a tentative opinion that the districts were not gerrymandered, as OPB reported. Retired state Judge Henry Breithaupt released that recommendation. It will go to the five-judge panel of retired judges to make a ruling on the Republican complaint.
It didn’t help the Republican case at all that Breithaupt put little faith in an expert brought in to argue their case — Thomas Brunell, a professor of political science and the program head for Political Science at the University of Texas at Dallas.
“While I find Dr. Brunell generally to be a credible witness, the methodology he employs, and therefore the conclusions he reached, lack credibility and are therefore unreliable,” Breithaupt wrote. “Several of Dr. Brunell’s conclusions lack even a minimum of academic or methodological rigor.” Then he went into specifics about problems with Brunell’s testimony. It’s about as withering a critique as we have read. You can read the judge’s opinion, tinyurl.com/gerryopinion.