Author Topic: Federal Judges Rule NC Congressional Redistricting Unconstitutional  (Read 46 times)

Solon

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This is a first. A federal panel of judges has ruled a state's Congressional redistricting unconstitutional based on partisan gerrymandering and set a date for its correction. Here it is, 2018, and the redistricting took place just after the 2010 Census results and Congressional elections. I am not getting my hopes up, but democracy would be properly served if relatively equal population districts of contiguous counties and cities could be drawn in all states. One man/woman, one vote should be the goal. We will never achieve it because of the advantage rural states have in the Electoral College, but we should at least make the states themselves fairer at the Congressional level.

If the Supreme Court ever overturns the antidemocratic and corrupt ruling that money equals speech, there is hope that the will of the people will someday be truly represented. I am not holding my breath. Understand that this corruption infects both parties. Remember how sickening it was that Hillary Clinton had taken hundreds of thousands of dollars for a handful of speeches to the likes of Goldman Sachs and other financial fat cats. You can bet they weren't paying for her golden words. The same is true for gerrymandering. It just so happens that the Republicans refined it to a science and took advantage of their unique victories in 2010 to enshrine it so effectively across the country. If Democrats were to run the table in state legislatures in 2020 we could easily have the same repulsive result.

The Supreme Court can make two rulings that would transform our country into a close proximity to that "shining city on a hill" that Reagan promised, but seems further than ever from realization. They can mandate equal redistricting and reverse the ruling that money equals speech. Then it would be left to Congress to limit financial contributions. It would be a fight, but with fair Congressional districts we might have a chance.   

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A panel of federal judges struck down North Carolina’s congressional map on Tuesday, declaring it unconstitutionally gerrymandered and demanding that the Republican-controlled General Assembly redraw district lines before this year’s midterm elections.

The ruling was the first time that a federal court had blocked a congressional map because the judges believed it to be a partisan gerrymander, and it deepened the political chaos that has enveloped North Carolina in recent years.

“We agree with plaintiffs that a wealth of evidence proves the General Assembly’s intent to ‘subordinate’ the interests of non-Republican voters and ‘entrench’ Republican domination of the state’s congressional delegation,” Judge James A. Wynn Jr. wrote in a 191-page opinion that another judge joined in full.

North Carolina Congressional Map Ruled Unconstitutionally Gerrymandered
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/09/us/north-carolina-gerrymander.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 07:40:08 PM by Solon »
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken

Solon

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This article puts the gerrymandering challenge in perspective. It's a boring, but very important subject. There are several cases under review by SCOTUS, but this writer suggests a major decision, if there is one, will come in the next session (next year).

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Back in 2004 the Supreme Court in Vieth v. Jublelirer split 4-1-4 over what to do about claims that partisan gerrymandering violates the U.S. Constitution. Four Justices said it was non-justiciable, four Justices said it was justiciable and raised a variety of challenges, and Justice Kennedy, in the middle, agreed with the Court’s liberals that the cases were justiciable, but agreed with the Court’s conservatives that the proposed standards didn’t work.  He essentially told everyone to keep working on the issue and come back, maybe looking at the First Amendment, maybe history, and maybe computers.  The cases at or coming to the Court seek to satisfy Justice Kennedy in various ways.

The State of Play on Partisan Gerrymandering Cases at the Supreme Court
http://electionlawblog.org/?p=96852
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken