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Author Topic:   Gerrymandering and Voter Suppression
Posts: 6837
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 6.5

Message 46 of 48 (865680)
10-29-2019 7:34 AM

North Carolina gerrymandering ruled unconstitutional
From the New York Times:

State Court Bars Using North Carolina House Map in 2020 Elections

A state court ruled the state's gerrymandered Congressional district map violates the state's constitution.

But in the process, the three-judge panel noted, they left “a detailed record of both the partisan intent and the intended partisan effect of the 2016 congressional districts.”

That record was so extensive, the judges said, that it left little doubt that opponents of the map would be able to prove in a trial that it violated the State Constitution.

The North Carolina constitution has a clause protecting the right to vote and the courts are finding that it was not intended to be a mere formality.

Republican legislators did not immediately respond to the latest order. They could oppose a motion for summary judgment and, should it come, appeal it to the state Supreme Court. But the three-judge panel suggested on Monday that the Republican legislative leaders forgo legal arguments and use the same bipartisan map-drawing process employed to draft the new state legislative districts.

Those legislature maps were originally also heavily gerrymandered but were ruled unconstitutional by the same state court.

Hard as it is to fathom, Mr President, just because you’re the leader of the free world doesn’t entitle you to a free pass. Unfortunately, just a free press. -- Neil Cavuto

Posts: 6837
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 6.5

Message 47 of 48 (867579)
11-28-2019 10:40 AM

Michigan citizens end gerrymandering
From the Guardian:

Republicans tried to rig the vote in Michigan – but ‘political novices’ just defeated them

Michigan voters have enacted a non-partisan apportionment process to end Republican extreme gerrymandering.

In 2017, the group drafted the measure to give redistricting authority to 13 Michigan residents – four Democrats, four Republicans and five non-affiliated voters, instead of lawmakers. More than 2.5 million Michigan voters approved the measure to amend the Michigan constitution and create the commission last year.

By the way, the Republicans never hid their intent for permanent rule: like cartoon villians they, again, bragged about their efforts.

And the GOP lawmakers were not subtle: emails made public last year revealed a Republican aide bragging about cramming “Dem garbage” into certain Michigan districts in 2011, as they drew the current electoral boundaries.

And, of course, the party of anti-democracy is fighting the law in court, under the claim that the non-partisan requirements discriminate against people based on political affiliation. (For people who don't get the joke, we are talking about the defense of gerrymandered districts intended to discriminate against political affiliation!)

One would hope this effort to protect democracy survives a Supreme Court challenge:

Even the supreme court chief justice, John Roberts, who wrote earlier this year that federal courts can’t do anything to fix partisan gerrymandering, has held up the Michigan effort as a pathway for fixing the problem.

However, I'm with Kagan in doubting the conservatives' sincerity when they pointed toward voter initiatives as a possible solution to gerrymandering.

I'm still curious, though, about what our local conservatives feel about the issue.

Do they think that gerrymandering is fair and not a big deal?

Do they think that it's a violation of democratic norms but the Republicans have no choice but to do what it takes to shutdown the "Dem scum"?

Or will they oppose such clear anti-democratic moves even when it's the Republicans that engage in them?

For this generation of far-right nationalists, religion is not a question of ethical conduct; it is purely about identity and peoplehood. -- Jan-Werner Müller

Posts: 6837
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 6.5

Message 48 of 48 (867683)
12-01-2019 11:44 AM

Permanent Republican rule and the census question
From the New York Times:

A Census Whodunit: Why Was the Citizenship Question Added?

As a reminder: The Trump administration tried to add to next year's census a question asking whether the respondents were citizens. The reasons were obvious: such a question would have caused many legal immigrant residents to avoid the census, suppressing their numbers, and there are plans among Republican dominated states to base apportionment on citizens rather than residents. The effect would be to decrease Democratic representation.

The administration denied this was the reason, insisting that it was to help enforce the Voters' Rights Act. When the issue was brought before the Supreme Court, the Court ruled that the administration wasn't being entirely honest and sent the case back to be re argued in the lower courts. Rather than admit that they are partisan hacks trying to cement into place permanent Republican rule, the administration dropped the question.

Recently released documents provide evidence that the reasons to add the citizenship question to the census was political, and that the Trump administration's were dishonest in their denials.

The latest disclosures tend to support their claim that the administration’s stated reason for adding the question — to help enforce the Voting Rights Act — was a pretext for a scheme to boost Republican political power when population totals from the next census are used to draw new political districts in 2021.

The administration claims it was an oversight that they hadn't disclosed these documents before, but...

"It is interesting that each and every document that the administration 'inadvertently' failed to disclose is something that connects the dots between the citizenship question and a discriminatory scheme to dilute the political power of immigrant communities," Dale Ho, a senior lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union who represents some of the plaintiffs, said in an email. "If that’s just coincidence, it’s an awfully convenient one for an administration known for a casual relationship with the truth."

I felt at the time that Roberts ruled against the census question because he didn't like being lied to. If and when this question reaches the Supreme Court again, my prediction is that if the administration is honest and admits, "Yeah, we want to exclude people to our benefit because fuck those guys," the Roberts court will rule, "Alrighty, then."

Edited by Chiroptera, : Typo in the subtitle.

For this generation of far-right nationalists, religion is not a question of ethical conduct; it is purely about identity and peoplehood. -- Jan-Werner Müller

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