With all the hubbub in the last week about the decision by the International Astronomical Union to “demote” Pluto to the lesser status of “dwarf planet”, you probably feared that, at some point, politicians would get involved. You were right. A resolution introduced in the California State Assembly hours after the IAU’s decision last Thursday, HR 36, “condemns the International Astronomical Union’s decision to strip Pluto of its planetary status for its tremendous impact on the people of California and the state’s long term fiscal health”. If you read through the resolution you can see it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, and the resolution’s sponsor, Keith Richman (R-Simi Valley) told the Ventura County Star that he introduced it out of frustration over the legislature’s inability to pass some political reforms, such as an independent redistricting resolution. HR 36 doesn’t seem to have the same problems: Richman rounded up over 50 co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle within hours. “Sadly, there is probably a much better chance that the Assembly will vote on HR36 than independent redistricting,” Richman said.