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It's official. Gerrymandering based on political party affiliation is ok.


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#1 golden_valley

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 10:54 AM

Roberts, writing for the majority didn't quite put it that way, but the practical impact of the 5-4 decision is simply that.

It is up to people in the states to use the initiative process, if they have one, to institute rules guiding redistricting and maybe an independent redistricting body. States that are narrowly blue or purple might have legislatures that have the will to do the same thing.

#2 pnwguy

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 11:03 AM

View Postgolden_valley, on 27 June 2019 - 10:54 AM, said:

Roberts, writing for the majority didn't quite put it that way, but the practical impact of the 5-4 decision is simply that.

It is up to people in the states to use the initiative process, if they have one, to institute rules guiding redistricting and maybe an independent redistricting body. States that are narrowly blue or purple might have legislatures that have the will to do the same thing.
Just goes to show you there are still Free states and Slave states in America.
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#3 JackD

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 11:07 AM

Why would blue legislatures want to reform redistricting when they know that red states won't and the Supreme Court condones it all?

#4 AnBr

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 11:11 AM

While it would be great to fix gerrymandering for good, the Repugs certainly make you want to turn tables on them and lock them out of power for a generation or more. Then again, simply ending gerrymandering would give a heavy Dem advantage in many (most?) cases.
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#5 golden_valley

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 11:21 AM

View PostAnBr, on 27 June 2019 - 11:11 AM, said:

While it would be great to fix gerrymandering for good, the Repugs certainly make you want to turn tables on them and lock them out of power for a generation or more. Then again, simply ending gerrymandering would give a heavy Dem advantage in many (most?) cases.

It wouldn't "give" the Democrats an advantage. The Democrats simply outnumber the Republicans in some states. And vice versa in some states.

#6 LFC

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 01:25 PM

Roberts lies. He knows as well as anybody that "The States" can't redress it when their governing bodies, including the ones who make al of the election rules, are bound to a single party by anti-democratic maneuvering.

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“Our conclusion does not condone excessive partisan gerrymandering. Nor does our conclusion condemn complaints about districting to echo into a void,” Roberts said in his opinion. “The States, for example, are actively addressing the issue on a number of fronts.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

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#7 LFC

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 01:29 PM

Kagan ripped the supine, partisan Roberts a new one. In full:

Quote

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan held nothing back in a Thursday dissent criticizing Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion that said federal courts could not rein in partisan gerrymandering.

“In giving such gerrymanders a pass from judicial review, the majority goes tragically wrong,” Kagan, who was joined by the court’s three other liberals, wrote.

She said the conservative majority erred by paying “so little attention to the constitutional harms at their core.”

She went into the details of the two cases in front of the court — challenges to a Democratic-drawn map in Maryland and GOP-drawn map in North Carolina — and how the legislatures were able to draw districts that ensure that their respective received a number seats disproportionate to the state wide vote.

“Is that how American democracy is supposed to work?” Kagan said. “I have yet to meet the person who thinks so.”

“Free and fair and periodic elections are the key” to the framers’ vision of democracy, Kagan said.

“And partisan gerrymandering can make [elections] meaningless,” Kagan said. “At its most extreme — as in North Carolina and Maryland — the practice amounts to ‘rigging elections.'”

She noted that majority did not dispute that partisan gerrymandering allows “politicians” to “cherry-pick voters to ensure their reelection.”

She said that one solution the conservative majority offered — that legislatures will curb their own gerrymandering — was “so dubious on its face that I feel secure in delaying my answer for some time. ”

And the other solution the majority offered, she said, was that it “seems to be that if we have lived with partisan gerrymanders so long, we will survive. ”

She countered that technology has allowed for gerrymandering that is “far more effective and durable than before, insulating politicians against all but the most titanic shifts in the political tides. ”

“These are not your grandfather’s — let alone the Framers’ — gerrymanders,” she said.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

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""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#8 pnwguy

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 05:19 PM

David Axelrod revealed that Scalia knew Obama wouldn't be nominating justices like himself, but that he wanted a brilliant nominee and personally lobbied for Kagan. He got Sotomayer instead, but Kagan as Obama's next appointment. She just proved her intellectual rigor today.
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#9 golden_valley

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 06:24 PM

View Postpnwguy, on 27 June 2019 - 05:19 PM, said:

David Axelrod revealed that Scalia knew Obama wouldn't be nominating justices like himself, but that he wanted a brilliant nominee and personally lobbied for Kagan. He got Sotomayer instead, but Kagan as Obama's next appointment. She just proved her intellectual rigor today.

Here's the opinion. Kagan takes Roberts' points apart piece by piece.

#10 LFC

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 10:06 AM

Another analysis of the new normal that Roberts has unleashed.

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Gerrymandering also has direct, concrete effects. The new documentary Slay the Dragon convincingly shows how the Flint water crisis was a direct result of Michigan’s gerrymandered statehouse, as protected Republican lawmakers overturned a massively popular referendum and installed “emergency managers” in cities like Flint. One such manager ordered Flint to change its water source, leading to massive lead poisoning in 2014.

The film also persuasively links gerrymandered legislatures to Wisconsin’s suppressive voter ID law and North Carolina’s anti-trans “bathroom bills,” neither of which were supported by a majority of the states’ populations. The film is a must-see for anyone concerned about our democracy.

Yet today, the Supreme Court said all of this is perfectly fine. Or at least, that the courts aren’t going to do anything about it.


Whether she likes it or not Sandra Day O'Conner's entire career is defined (or perhaps stained ... maybe tainted ... maybe all of the above) by her vote to override the Florida recount and hand the leadership of America to George W. The thousands of dead U.S. troops, tens of thousands of wounded U.S. troops, hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, an international torture program, and on and on lands to a not insignificant degree at her feet. Roberts just had his defining moment and, similarly, the anti-democratic shitshow that it will unleash can and should be (to a not insignificant degree) lands on his feet. No apology when he's in his 80s will undo this. He's now an Uncle (Clarence) Thomas.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#11 JackD

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 10:10 AM

Justice Kagan's lucid and careful discussion inexplicably ignored the most important precedent affecting this case. Oddly, the majority missed it as well. I refer, of course, to Bush v. Gore which established that equal protection in election matters is only applicable to installing a Republican in the presidency and the reference to the equal protection clause must not be cited elsewhere. This, Justice Scalia assured us, was what the founders wanted. @LFC, great minds, etc.!

#12 LFC

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Posted 28 June 2019 - 04:26 PM

TPM rips Roberts a new one as well. The interesting thing is that Roberts appears to have been consistently against voters' rights and has, in fact, managed to manufacture "reasoning" to get him to his predetermined conclusion. The piece also discusses what can be done and the challenges to be faced.

Quote

Since Thursday, Chief Justice John Roberts has been winning praise for independence and fair-mindedness after blocking — at least for now — the Trump administration’s bid to rig the census by adding a question on citizenship. But let’s be clear: by giving a green light to partisan gerrymandering in an opinion released the same day, Roberts and the rest of the court’s conservative bloc dealt a body blow to American democracy.

The chief’s opinion in Rucho v. Common Cause doesn’t withstand even basic scrutiny. The court’s majority decided that partisan gerrymandering disputes are “non-justiciable” — that is, the courts can’t intervene in them — because, essentially, courts aren’t equipped to come up with a standard to determine when gerrymanders go too far. Never mind that the lack of what the court calls a “judicially manageable standard” appears to have literally never held the justices back before on any other issue. Never mind also that, as the Brennan Center’s Tom Wolf has pointed out, five different federal courts, relying on the work of respected political scientists, have had little trouble coming up with manageable standards to strike down partisan gerrymanders in Wisconsin, North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, and Maryland. To Roberts, it’s all a bunch of “sociological gobbledygook.”

It’s hard not to see Rucho as a direct relative of past Roberts court rulings that likewise crippled our democracy, like the Shelby County decision gutting the Voting Rights Act, the Citizens United decision striking down campaign finance rules, the Crawford case upholding voter ID laws, and the Husted opinion allowing purges of voter rolls.

The specific legal rationales vary from case to case — in Shelby County, it involved Roberts more or less inventing the “equal sovereignty of the states” doctrine in order to neuter the most important plank of the Voting Rights Act. But the underlying worldview is consistent: the court’s conservatives simply don’t believe that political equality — the idea that Americans must be able to participate in the political process on a more or less equal footing — is a crucial value to be upheld. Put simply, they don’t see fair elections, or democracy itself, as all that important.

Still, raging against the court’s cynicism may be cathartic, but it won’t get us far. With the next round of redistricting just two years away — and the gerrymanderers likely to be even more emboldened — we need to start thinking about alternative strategies for ensuring we get maps that fairly reflect voters’ views.

The good news is, there’s already plenty of action here — and the court’s decision Thursday will only give these efforts even more momentum.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#13 Sinan

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 09:17 AM

In addition, does it not make the people's house representative only of the people chosen by the party in each state? How is the integrity of the House insured when the people themselves have no power to elect their own representatives?
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#14 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 10:05 AM

View PostJackD, on 27 June 2019 - 11:07 AM, said:

Why would blue legislatures want to reform redistricting when they know that red states won't and the Supreme Court condones it all?

Because the wheel turns. Not all that long ago Ohio and Michigan were pretty blue, and now Democrats can't get back in power because the Republicans have rigged the system. If the Democrats had created a less hackable districting system, they'd still be either in control or at least active participants in those States.
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#15 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 10:07 AM

View PostLFC, on 28 June 2019 - 04:26 PM, said:

The interesting thing is that Roberts appears to have been consistently against voters' rights and has, in fact, managed to manufacture "reasoning" to get him to his predetermined conclusion.

I'm pretty sure that I've mentioned that about him before. If there's one thing that moves Roberts more than anything else, it's his antipathy towards majority rule.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#16 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 29 June 2019 - 10:20 AM

View PostSinan, on 29 June 2019 - 09:17 AM, said:

How is the integrity of the House insured when the people themselves have no power to elect their own representatives?

I'm sure that question never crossed Roberts' mind. [/s]

Put another way, that depends on how you define "integrity." Consider Trump's definition, for instance.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO





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