Login

The Supreme Court To Decide Fate Of Partisan Gerrymandering

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in favor of ending the practice of partisan gerrymandering on October 3, 2017. Opponents of the practice are calling for a fairer method of apportioning districts than is currently being used.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in favor of ending the practice of partisan gerrymandering on October 3, 2017. Opponents of the practice are calling for a fairer method of apportioning districts than is currently being used.

"[A] dozen plaintiffs — voters across the state [Wisconsin] — said the evidence laid out in a trial in the Wisconsin case showed that “Republican legislative leaders authorized a secretive and exclusionary mapmaking process aimed at securing for their party a large advantage that would persist no matter what happened in future elections.” In the election held after the new district maps were adopted, Republicans got just 48.6 percent of the statewide vote, but captured a 60-to-39 seat advantage in the State Assembly."

Gerrymandering, the process by which state lawmakers create Congressional districts based on purely political concerns, has become heavily quantified. New software applications allow lawmakers to create districts that both protect incumbents, but also prevent inter-competition from alternate candidates.

It has become such a problem that some worry that it is undermining the guiding principle of American democracy, "one man, one vote".

According to Brian Klass's editorial in the Washington Post:

"There is an enormous paradox at the heart of American democracy. Congress is deeply and stubbornly unpopular. On average, between 10 and 15 percent of Americans approve of Congress – on a par with public support for traffic jams and cockroaches. And yet, in the 2016 election, only eight incumbents – eight out of a body of 435 representatives – were defeated at the polls. If there is one silver bullet that could fix American democracy, it’s getting rid of gerrymandering – the now commonplace practice of drawing electoral districts in a distorted way for partisan gain. It’s also one of a dwindling number of issues that principled citizens – Democrat and Republican – should be able to agree on. Indeed, polls confirm that an overwhelming majority of Americans of all stripes oppose gerrymandering."

The case, Gill v. Whitford, will be argued on October 3rd, 2017 before the Court's justices.

I would prefer to see redistricting done by a wholly non-partisan entity. No reason to involve party politics in such an endeavor.

2
0

I absolutely agree.

In Washington state, one of the most liberal in the US, republicans control the senate (24 republicans + anti-gay Tim Sheldon) and 48 of 98 seats in the house. This in a state where Clinton received 521,000 more votes than Chump (more than 16.2% of the votes). Republicans can't win statewide elections - they haven't had US senator in WA since 2001. The only way this happens is BLATANT gerrymandering.

After the 2012 election, I reviewed every state legislature election result and I found that the average winning percentage in a conservative-leaning district was in the low 60s, while it was in the mid 70s for liberal-leaning districts. Some districts have been drawn up to concentrate liberal voters into a few districts and dilute liberal representation elsewhere. And it works.

This explains how presidential elections can be so close, but house and senate elections are not. It explains how Clinton could win nearly THREE MILLION MORE VOTES (more than 2%) than Chump, but get trounced in the electoral college. It explains how republicans have such large majorities in the house at time when the country supposedly pretty evenly divided.

THIS IS VOTER DISENFRANCHISEMENT! Pure and simple. It is a far worse version than the rare voter fraud that republicans love to cry about. The republicans have achieve this result INTENTIONALLY, through careful and deliberate planning for DECADES! It's despicable. And it needs to END!

The republicans responsible for this (Rove is a great example) don't care about honor or fairness; they only care about shoving their agenda down everyone's throat. They are a psychotic pack of hypocrites.

3
0

Republicans can only win state-wide races or national races (presidential contest / a mixture) by continuing anti-democratic charades like the electoral college, partisan gerrymandering, 'voter id', etc.

If we have proportional representation and/or direct Presidential elections, our leadership would left of center to far-left. Republicans are a White Supremacist party in a country that is coming close to losing its White-majority.

1
0
More to read in U.S. & Global News
false