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-   -   SCOTUS takes up gerrymandering (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=873167)

Hari Seldon 03-28-2019 06:24 PM

SCOTUS takes up gerrymandering
 
The Supreme Court has taken up two cases; one a Democrat gerrymandering of MD and a Republican gerrymandering of NC. Both are apparently fairly egregious and the fact each party is involved gives them cover that their decision will not be partisan. AFAIK, the Republicans will suffer more from ending it.

I really would like to see their reasoning if they decide the two cases differently; that the MD one is illegal, but the NC one legal. But I really cannot see them doing that. And I also cannot see why they are allowing this if all they want to do is affirm the status quo.

Interesting times.

Red Wiggler 03-29-2019 07:09 AM

Fair districting is a relatively easy problem to solve logistically. There are a couple of excellent proposals for how multi-district states could get it done quickly, easily and fairly. But the Founding Fathers did not -- perhaps could not -- anticipate this problem 200 years ago and now our decrepit and partisan systems, which work against better democracy, are entrenched in a constitution that requires tremendous political will to fix. Good luck widdat.

Jonathan Chance 03-29-2019 08:17 AM

Well, it takes enormous political will to fix OR the decision of five or more people on the supreme court.

What remedy they find is the tricky part. Do they prescribe something and say to the states, "Do it this way, motherfuckers!" or do they instead say that partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional and therefore "You guys better come up with something" at which point further state-level shenanigans begin.

Or, of course, they could decide it's not unconstitutional and we're still stuck in the mud.

Hari Seldon 03-29-2019 01:33 PM

But why bother bringing it up again if they are going to leave it be? That's what I don't understand.

KarlGauss 03-30-2019 09:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hari Seldon (Post 21564060)
But why bother bringing it up again if they are going to leave it be? That's what I don't understand.

To show their independence from the political parts of the government? To re-affirm the Court's Constitutional status as separate but equal?

In other words, an opportunity to remind all 'sides' they that are players and intend to remain so. Or, maybe, it's in deference to Roberts.

That Don Guy 03-31-2019 06:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Red Wiggler (Post 21563363)
But the Founding Fathers did not -- perhaps could not -- anticipate this problem 200 years ago and now our decrepit and partisan systems, which work against better democracy, are entrenched in a constitution that requires tremendous political will to fix. Good luck widdat.

Did the first Congress even have districts? Requiring them is not in the Constitution anywhere - just that they have to be in proportion to the population, and they have to be elected directly by the people.

Ignatz 03-31-2019 07:15 PM

They have agreed to pronounce it with a hard G, like Elbridge Gerry did! ALso per John Mulaney on Seth Meyers Late Night show

https://marblehead.wickedlocal.com/n...ndering-letter

(per Ignatz, an alumnus of the Elbridge Gerry Elementary School)

DinoR 03-31-2019 09:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hari Seldon (Post 21564060)
But why bother bringing it up again if they are going to leave it be? That's what I don't understand.

It only takes four justices to grant writ. The majority can want to leave it be and it can still keep coming up again.

Whack-a-Mole 04-01-2019 07:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance (Post 21563459)
Well, it takes enormous political will to fix OR the decision of five or more people on the supreme court.

The Supreme Court is (supposedly) loathe to take up what they deem "political questions". In other words, meddling in how government operates.

In 1962 the court heard a case, Baker v. Carr, regarding redistricting in Tennessee.

The case, literally, destroyed two Supreme Court justices. One quit having been mentally shattered by the case and one had a severe stroke that ended his career.

"When Chief Justice Earl Warren was asked at the end of his career, “What was the most important case of your tenure?”, there were a lot of answers he could have given. After all, he had presided over some of the most important decisions in the court’s history — cases that dealt with segregation in schools, the right to an attorney, the right to remain silent, just to name a few. But his answer was a surprise: He said, “Baker v. Carr,” a 1962 redistricting case." - The Political Thicket

UltraVires 04-03-2019 09:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hari Seldon (Post 21562796)
The Supreme Court has taken up two cases; one a Democrat gerrymandering of MD and a Republican gerrymandering of NC. Both are apparently fairly egregious and the fact each party is involved gives them cover that their decision will not be partisan. AFAIK, the Republicans will suffer more from ending it.

I really would like to see their reasoning if they decide the two cases differently; that the MD one is illegal, but the NC one legal. But I really cannot see them doing that. And I also cannot see why they are allowing this if all they want to do is affirm the status quo.

Interesting times.

With Kavanaugh replacing Kennedy, the Court may decide to put the final nail in the coffin for political gerrymandering cases and say that they are non justiciable political questions.

In case you think that is an outrageous result, shortly after the founding, many states elected Congressmen at-large, meaning a slate of Congressman were voted on throughout the state. That system would give Maryland ALL Democrats.

Red Wiggler 04-04-2019 07:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by That Don Guy (Post 21567041)
Did the first Congress even have districts? Requiring them is not in the Constitution anywhere - just that they have to be in proportion to the population, and they have to be elected directly by the people.

Hey, hey, the Fair Representation Act introduced by Don Beyer creates superdistricts and requires proportional voting. That would be an awesome way to show those evil Maryland libbies a thing or three.

Chronos 04-04-2019 06:50 PM

UltraVires, is that any more outrageous than a state allocating ALL of its electoral votes according to the statewide majority, as 96% of states do right now? It's maybe not the ideal system, but I don't think it's necessarily outrageous. And it's certainly better than a state's populace having a clear majority in one direction, but their representation having a clear majority in the other direction, as often happens as a result of gerrymandering.

Saint Cad 04-04-2019 09:24 PM

All of this could be done away with if the Feds allowed proportional representation.

Happy Fun Ball 04-06-2019 06:55 PM

The Supreme Court these days is hyper partisan, so I don't expect them to really take up gerrymandering. Maybe after 2020.


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