In a decision certain to please “Moscow Mitch” McConnell, the conservative wing of the U.S. Supreme Court once again overturned a lower federal court decision and allowed partisan gerrymandering to continue to corrupt U.S. elections.
Gerrymandering is where state legislators admittedly intentionally redraw and rig boundaries in Congressional (and state) districts to manipulate vote outcomes. In Wisconsin, the Republican Party was “cracking” aka “splitting” certain Democrat voters among different districts, so those voters failed to achieve electoral majorities, and “packing” aka “stacking” other Democrat voters in districts in which Democrat candidates win by large margins. Either way, the legislatures draw boundaries to affect election outcomes.
The term comes from Elbridge Gerry, who as governor of Massachusetts in 1812, was the first to create a partisan district that looked like a salamander – thus Gerry-mander.
SUPREME COURT DECISION
A few months ago, the Supreme Court overturned a different lower court decision and allowed Maryland and North Carolina to continue with their partisan, one Democrat and the other Republican, redrawing of Congressional districts.
The North Carolina Republican-dominated legislature admitted rigging and redrawing congressional districts to create a 10-3 advantage in the House of Representatives even though votes cast in those races were equally split between Democrats and Republicans. The Republican-drawn boundaries were so corrupt their redistricting project was commonly referred to as the “Red Map.” Disgusting. Democrats did the same thing in Maryland.
Thanks to the new Supreme Court, those unfair disenfranchisement practices will continue.
In the Michigan case just decided by the Supreme Court, the Republicans altered Michigan elections.
Retired Justice Kennedy once wrote: “Partisan Gerrymandering jeopardizes the ordered working of our Republic and of our Democratic process…at its most extreme, the practice amounts to rigging elections.” Exactly.
STATE LEGISLATURES MAY CONTINUE THEIR CORRUPTION
The Court wrote “evidence points to only one conclusion: partisan considerations played a central role in every aspect of the redistricting process.” Duh.
That did not keep the conservative five on the Court from writing that the corruption of redrawing district boundaries is a matter best left to the state legislatures.
The very legislatures who create the partisan boundaries!
A sad day for open and fair elections.
Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter Simon licensed in California and Nevada, with offices in Truckee and Tahoe City, California, and Reno, Nevada. Jim’s practice areas include: real estate, development, construction, business, HOA’s, contracts, personal injury, accidents, mediation and other transactional matters. He may be reached at email@example.com or www.portersimon.com. Like us on Facebook. ©2019
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