Gerrymandering and unilateral disarmament

Given that the Supreme Court just handed down a ruling that state gerrymandering is not subject to federal oversight, I thought it would be good to look at the issue presented in **SlackerInc’s **other thread:
In that thread, it was argued that if Democrats were to abolish gerrymandering in blue states while red states refused to do the same, then it would be unilateral disarmament, which would be tantamount to electoral suicide. Others argued that gerrymandering is bad no matter who does it and it should always be opposed.

Poll to follow in a few moments…

Our fucked up electoral system may ultimately be the republic’s downfall but we’ll never get the GOP to engage in meaningful discussions about improving the democratic processes, imho.

Uh, why is there this assumption that “red” states will be engaged in partisan gerrymandering? Arizona is the poster-child of having a neutral commission do the re-districting (it spawned the seminal SCotUS case allowing it). Iowa uses a fairly neutral process as well. Idaho has a neutral commission. It seems to me the poll should ask whether all states should abolish gerrymandering, regardless of what other states are doing. That’s my answer to the poll; hence I chose “Other”.

I also voted “other.” SCOTUS didn’t rule gerrymandering was beyond federal reach; they said it was beyond the reach of federal courts. (I vehemently disagree, but that’s beside the point.) My vote would be for a good ol’ fashioned federal law, passed by Congress and signed by the president*, establishing standards for neutral districting. Then if states want to draw up their own gerrymandered districts, let them sue in federal court and see how far it gets them.

*Not, it goes without saying, this Congress and this president.

Although if there were ever an issue it would seem both parties could support, it would be to ban gerrymandering. After all, each party gets screwed by it, depending on who’s in power in which states in years ending with 0.

I’m in Illinois, and I’d gladly surrender our corrupt Dems’ ability to draw up ridiculous districts in exchange for blocking Wisconsin’s sleazebag Republicans from doing the same.

States change. The focus should be on banning gerrymandering in a way that when the next group takes over, they can’t easily undo it.

I say Democrats should stop bring sporks to a gun fight. Republicans have long since abandoned civilized behavior, Democrats can’t wait for them to grow a conscience.


I voted other, because both blue and red states should ban gerrymandering. And I’m not going to flat out assume that no red states will; currently both some red and some blue states go in for it, and both some red and some blue states try to minimize it. Red states may be less likely to do so right at the moment, but a blue state may become red and vice versa, so even if the only states that ban it are those that are currently blue, if it’s made hard enough to overturn then over time there will be states that are red at the moment but continue to have the ban.

Electoral faith in the value of a vote is more important than even who’s in power. The biggest danger of the Trump/McConnell administration (climate issues aside) is that it threatens that faith; because without it the entire system disintegrates.

But if states do it piecemeal, they risk losing ground to states that don’t. (A reddish state, for instance, that enacts neutral districts risks becoming more blue, while their blueish neighbor that still gerrymanders will likely become even more blue.) That’s why I believe only federal regulation can solve this.