October 3, 2017

"Kennedy was cryptic about how he might rule in the case, but gave no sign that he has abandoned his view that extreme partisan gerrymandering might—at least in theory—violate the Constitution."

Politico reports (on today's oral argument).
"Suppose [the court] decides this is a First Amendment issue, not an equal-protection issue. Would that change the analysis?" Kennedy asked....
I'd like to see how that question was answered, but I think the honest answer is no.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who's known for a desire to safeguard his court's reputation, was unusually blunt about his concern that opening the door to partisan gerrymandering cases would drag the justices into a political morass. He said voters will look askance at the notion that districts failed to meet a complex formula that assesses wasted votes and a so-called "efficiency gap."

"The intelligent man on the street is going to say, 'That's a bunch of baloney. It must be because the Supreme Court favored Democrats or Republicans,'" Roberts said. "That's going to cause a very serious harm to the status...of the decisions of this court in the eyes of the country."
Here's what I said about the case earlier this morning. I'll have more when I can get a transcript.

83 comments:

GoodPerson_VeryFlawed said...

Roberts and Althouse are getting very meta.

Seems like a better argument would be more based on the Constitution.

rehajm said...

The whole 'efficiency gap' metric is just too cute and contrived. Kennedy will probably go for it.

Mike Sylwester said...

Doesn't the Constitution say that the Democrats' votes must be optimized?

Sebastian said...

"That's going to cause a very serious harm to the status...of the decisions of this court in the eyes of the country." What difference, at the point, does it make?

If you can get SSM out of the 14th, why not try to finesse gerrymandering on the basis of the 1st?

The only thing that would help Roberts avoid harm to the court is to get Tony off it.

Bob Ellison said...

Graph paper could solve the problem.

IgnatzEsq said...

God I hope the supreme court doesn't screw this one up. The logic to me is mindbogglingly dumb. As I understand it, the hypothetical problem is that people draw lines based on political affiliation. And so the proposed solution is that instead of that, we count the number of democrats in a proposed district, and if it's not enough according this efficiency gap metric, we redraw the lines until there are enough. The solution is indistinguishable from the problem.

Ann Althouse said...

The "efficiency gap" assumes that political parties have a right to maximize the power of aggregated voters, so that if Democrats concentrate in a city (like Milwaukee or Madison), it's not fair for them to be stuck winning elections by big margins when they could win more districts if their voters were distributed in different ways. So that if they win in my district with 80%, they want maybe 20% put in some other district where they are losing by 5%. Then they'd have 2 districts. But if you give them that right to power, how do you get every district right, and do you stop at the two major parties? When do libertarians get a district?

Yancey Ward said...

If federal judges want to judge the validity of political boundaries, then let's elect them to their seats every two years. If they feel differently, then leave the drawing of the lines to the elected representatives assigned the task.

Ann Althouse said...

The solution that has prevailed for years is to say that it's theoretically possible to violate the Constitution, but that there's no violation in this case (and there's not test that can be articulated). That's what Kennedy is responsible for. It leaves some pressure on the party in power not to go too far, keeps the court in some position to exercise power, but doesn't ever exercise the power. That's the compromise. Hard to believe that won't be what we get one more time here.

But if HC had appointed the Scalia replacement, I think these plaintiffs would have won.

Bob Ellison said...

When do libertarians get a district?

That's a good question.

The two-party system is deeply embedded in our national, state, and local laws. The USA is unusual in having just two evenly divided parties. Most other nations have either one (China, Cuba) or several (Italy, Germany).

The libertarians don't get a district here because they're crowded out. If you can't get a good 30% or so, then the hell with you. That's what got Bernie Sanders crowded out. That's why Ross Perot was just a Clinton-clincher.

You'd have to do a real uprising against both Democrats and Republicans to get real power. I don't see that happening.

Gahrie said...

The "efficiency gap" assumes that political parties have a right to maximize the power of aggregated voters,

This assumption is incorrect, no further analysis or argument is necessary. Political parties have no rights. If they did have rights, this wouldn't be one of them.

Bob Ellison said...

Gahrie, alas, political parties do have rights. They shouldn't, but they do. The nomination process, in particular, is full of party rights. Disgusting, but there it is.

Michael K said...

You'd have to do a real uprising against both Democrats and Republicans to get real power. I don't see that happening.

I'm not so sure.

California tried to turn redistricting over to a panel of retired judges.

Wille Brown made mincemeat of that effort, then bragged about it. I don't know if he was sleeping with Kamala by that time.

By "sleeping" I'm trying to clean up the comments.

Trump is where Perot would have been if he had not had his "episode" the summer of 1992.

If Congress and the Democrats are both really stupid the next year, which is certainly possible, we might find out.

Nonapod said...

Justice John Roberts, who's known for a desire to safeguard his court's reputation

Ha, that's a good'un right there. Like the guy's got integrity? Isn't this the guy who declared what was explicitly not a tax to be tax? This is the guy who cares about what people think or the court?

eric said...

It's a little late for that.

Once you found a right in the Constitution for abortion, we knew the game. Trying to stick that genie back in the bottle isn't going to happen.

Or as they say in the south, that dog won't hunt.

DanTheMan said...

So we need to take some of Utah's vote and use it to help Republicans win in California. Is that the idea?

Sebastian said...

"Hard to believe that won't be what we get one more time here." Hard to believe, maybe, but it just depends on what Tony decides. From him and his predecessors we often got things that are "hard to believe." If you can get "substantive due process" into the 14th, and mandatory SSM from that, anything goes.

Gahrie said...

Article I Section 4:

1) The Times, Places, and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives shall be prescribed in each State by the legislature thereof: but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of choosing Senators.

10th Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States. are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Why is the Supreme Court hearing this case? The legislatures of the states have complete power to draw the districts, unless Congress chooses to act.

Wait, let me guess..the 14th Amendment somehow gives political parties a right to challenge district boundaries on grounds of fairness?

Gahrie said...

The proper venue to challenge electoral district boundaries is in Congress, not the Supreme Court.

Gahrie said...

The only thing that would help Roberts avoid harm to the court is to get Tony off it.

Or RBG off the court, which would make Kennedy irrelevant, and probably encourage him to retire.

MikeR said...

I figure the parties have been gerrymandering for a while. The district I'm in (Baltimore) looks like some microscopic spiny thing with several bodies connected by threads. Set up by Democrats, I assure you. Probably that was okay.
Use their own rules against them.

Jack Wayne said...

I think Republicans would have a better chance to sue on the grounds that many Democratic districts are unbalanced by illegal aliens. That is, if the average number of people in a Congressional district is roughly 700,000, then those districts with a large number of aliens underrepresent the citizens. I’m his typical sloppy fashion Madison didn’t mention citizens in the Constitution, he wrote about People. Maybe at the time, People=Citizens but today it doesn’t mean that. I’d like to see Roberts confronted with that particular problem. I believe he would run away as fast as he could, Court status be damned.

Hagar said...

If it is not simple, it is not going to work.

The only check really is public outrage, and I am not holdinng my breath waiting for that to set in. "The whole world is getting Californicated" is an old saying by now!

Bob Ellison said...

I agree, Gahrie.

This is a political question, not a legal one.

I don't think most lawyers, politicians, and judges are keenly aware of the distinction between legal and political issues. It should be basic theory.

Crap, your local policeman knows enough to say I arrest the perp, I don't judge him.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

"keeps the court in some position to exercise power, but doesn't ever exercise the power"

Except they did exercise the power in Bush v. Gore, which Althouse is conveniently forgetting. (I suppose Althouse is going to say that was not a gerrymandering case, but I would answer that it was about gerrymandering in the vote recounting process.)

The cynical view is that the Republican Court won't overturn Wisconsin's rotten Republican boroughs no matter how rotten and will rest its decision on some phony high ideal.

I don't know enough about it, Wisconsin may only be a little bit rotten. But neighboring Iowa does know how to draw districts more fairly, so Wisconsin ought to look to that example, even if it should win in the Supreme Court.

Paul McKaskle said...

I posted this in the 6:59am post on the NYT article about the Redisticting case:

Gerrymandering is bad but a court ordered alternative may well be worse. Already the Supreme Court has required that minority controlled districts have to be controlled by minorities but not dominated by them--a 60 percent or more minority district may be too much, but somewhere below 50 or 55 percent too little. An almost precise number of "filler people"--that is, people included in a district with the intention(!) that they have no influence or say in who is elected--have to be added to the district. (Talk about representative democracy, some people are intentionally dis-enfranchised by this approach.)

Adding "political balance" (whatever that is) into the constitutionally required mix would compound the line drawing problems immensely. The geographical problem is that both minorities and political affiliations are very unequally distributed. This is well illustrated by Wisconsin, Blacks are concentrated almost entirely in Milwaukee and both Milwaukee and Madison have an extremely large percentage of Democrats. Elsewhere in the state there are few minorities and a small but often decisive percentage of Republicans.

Achieving the "right" ethnic and political "balance" might, in many instances, require extremely non-compact district lines to get the right mix of, say, 55 percent Blacks in an urban district and not "too many" democrats by including a substantial number of Republicans (but not a majority) from the suburbs. There would be lots of room for mischief in drawing boundaries to achieve this goal, even by a judge.

Another problem is how to measure the deficit in voting power of a party. In the Wisconsin case the claim is that the Republicans won too many districts compared to their statewide vote. That was true of one election but in other elections the percentages are often different. The incentive to vote in some districts may be lower than in others--the incumbent is unopposed (or is otherwise safe), the incumbent has become controversial for some reason, there are no other important races or issues on the ballot in the district, the nature of a district may be undergoing change. A single election is a very imprecise measure of the degree of the deficit that a party may have suffered. (As just one example of the difference, using Wisconsin Presidential Race results, the Republican vote in 1980 was 48% and in 1984 was 54% and the Democratic vote in 2004 was 49.7% and in 2008 was 56.2%. What should be the measure for districts that will last for 10 years?)

If there is to be an over-riding Constitutional requirement for proportionality in the results, then the only constitutional remedy should be some sort of proportional voting system. This can solve both the political and racial representation problems. There are several proportional representation voting systems but if districts are drawn to elect as few as three representatives each they will be, in effect, gerrymander proof both as to race and as to political preference. (See 35 Houston Law Review 1119, 1181-1184 (1998)for an explanation of why.)

traditionalguy said...

We need the Gerry's Salamander back again...it's art.

Nonapod said...

It's odd that so many journalists and observers still pretend that there's some sort of thoughtful, academic processes going on when the court makes a ruling. As far as I can tell, the way the Supreme Court works in the modern era is that each Justice makes their decision based on their personal political whims and then shoddily retrofits an argument to it (the "argument" usually amounts to a bunch of sophistry and thinly veiled conceits that have nothing to do with the actual text of the Constitution).

Everyone knows that the court is pretty much a purely political institution these days that has little connection with upholding the Constitution. Why are we still pretending it's something that it's not?

Scott McGlasson said...

As politically divided as the country, in particular the white majority, is nowadays, do the arguments for gerrymandering hold as much water?

tim in vermont said...

Think of all of the wasted votes that the Electoral College creates! Unconstitutional!

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Achilles said...

The court serves one party: The Aristocracy. Period.

The 4 liberals on the court are just open and honest about it.

I guarantee you Bush regrets appointing Thomas because he is the only one actually doing his job. Like Souter did.

n.n said...

There are four ways that political gerrymandering occurs: partitioning, migration, immigration, and indoctrination. Also, the progress of social and legal liberalism that has degraded population fitness, and Planned Parenthood that has destroyed Posterity in large numbers.

tim in vermont said...

Rust never sleeps, nor does the left's lust for power.

Bob Ellison said...

Nonapod said, "Everyone knows that the court is pretty much a purely political institution these days..."

No, no, a thousand times, no. The people have no idea. You're correct, but the people have no idea. They think the SCOTUS is some kind of god thing. The SCOTUS has this halo above it. Everything it writes is perfect. It's like a Star Trek entity.

Michael K said...

"I figure the parties have been gerrymandering for a while. "

Elbridge Gerry was governor of Massachusetts in 1810 when the term was born.

Gahrie said...

First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

How the Hell would this case, or any districting case, involve the First Amendment?

cubanbob said...

Ann Althouse said...
The "efficiency gap" assumes that political parties have a right to maximize the power of aggregated voters, so that if Democrats concentrate in a city (like Milwaukee or Madison), it's not fair for them to be stuck winning elections by big margins when they could win more districts if their voters were distributed in different ways. So that if they win in my district with 80%, they want maybe 20% put in some other district where they are losing by 5%. Then they'd have 2 districts. But if you give them that right to power, how do you get every district right, and do you stop at the two major parties? When do libertarians get a district?"

Unless someone who can otherwise lawfully vote is prevented from voting why is this an issue to begin with? You have the right to vote, not the right to guarantee the outcome of the vote. If urbanites don't like the way the rubes in the sticks vote, move to the sticks and vote there.

Matthew Sablan said...

"But if you give them that right to power, how do you get every district right, and do you stop at the two major parties?"

-- Or you could just make a bicameral legislative branch to solve the problem.

Clark said...

"Roberts and Althouse are getting very meta.
Seems like a better argument would be more based on the Constitution."

If i'm a justice who bases my decision on the constitution I may still find myself trying to convince one or more of my colleagues who don't agree with me. In my attempt to persuade the non-constitution-based jurist to reach the right constitution-based result I may well resort to the kind of argument that Roberts makes here.

GRW3 said...

Ross Perot ran because his pet congressman, and speaker of the house, Jim Wright was run out of congress by the Republicans. His intent was to punish them because the cut off the congressional gravy train.

In the south, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has driven a lot of districting. It basically demanded that congressional districts in the South be set in a way that guaranteed a minority would win the seat. Could win was not enough. Must win was the criteria. Barbara Jordan had to win a significant amount of white votes to become a congresswoman. Sheila Jackson Lee does not.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...The "efficiency gap" assumes that political parties have a right to maximize the power of aggregated voters, so that if Democrats concentrate in a city (like Milwaukee or Madison), it's not fair for them to be stuck winning elections by big margins when they could win more districts if their voters were distributed in different ways

Yes, that's good summary of the underlying logic; the argument seems to be that equitable treatment is itself unfair, which is a subset of the "reality is (unfairly) biased" belief.

But if HC had appointed the Scalia replacement, I think these plaintiffs would have won.

That's probably correct. Kind of a scary thought, yeah? That kind of thing makes it worth tossing a vote or two towards "ugly" candidates every now and then, I'd hope.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Gahrie said...
First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

How the Hell would this case, or any districting case, involve the First Amendment?


If I was a clever person I think I'd argue that "extreme" redistricting prevented effective speech and/or assembly AND prevented effective petition for redress. If the redistricting prevented my group from electing our preferred candidate/representative then that's a harm--one way I express my beliefs is through political action and if the plan means my political spending (supporting the candidate I prefer in "my" district) will be wasted then that's effectively a restriction.
Similar logic holds for the redress branch--my elected officials represent me before and within the government (acting as a mouthpiece for my cause/their constituents) so a redistricting plan that prevents me from having a chance of electing my preferred candidate reduces the power of any redress I would otherwise have.

Note: those aren't great arguments, but that's what I came up with off the top of my head. I'm not sure how many of these arguments could survive a "just move!" counter--that seems to be what the courts turn to in cases where local districts restrict what I consider fundamental rights in other cases (ie "don't like California or MA's gun laws? Just move!").

Nonapod said...

Legislative distribution through geographical apportionment in a representative system is flawed because it's hackable. We call that hack (exploitation) "Gerrymandering". One solution is to end geographical apportionment and replace it with a system where we just select representatives based on straight proportional representation I suppose.

rcocean said...

Kennedy has never shown any concern for the actual Constitution. Again and again, he's refused to recognize any limits to Judicial power. He's always loved being the swing vote, and being King Kennedy - "the Decider".

I don't have the slightest doubt he will side the Democrats, but write an opinion that gives them 65% of what they want. Like Grandma O'Conner he doesn't like "Bright lines" unless it favors the Left.

rcocean said...

The Judges have already made the decision that the Federal Judiciary and the SCOTUS can do anything. They can even raise taxes!

Its up to Congress to rein them in. But of course, the Gutless Republicans will do nothing unless the Koch Brothers bribe them.

Oso Negro said...

Good Lord! You mean to say that there is a possibility that some act of the government may be constrained by the Constitution? That's just crazy talk!

Todd said...

As with most things political, "The gerrymandering isn't done until the Democrats have won!"

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

rehajm,

The whole 'efficiency gap' metric is just too cute and contrived.

This. The whole argument leads to ... actual gerrymanders, weirdly shaped districts with spindly arms coming out of cities to slop up as many Republican voters as possible. While not damaging the majority-minority thing, of course.

Look, if Democrats mostly want to live in cities, so be it. Theirs aren't "wasted votes" any more than Republicans' are. Or Greens' or Libertarians'. But they are cast in the areas in which the voters live, and "compact and contiguous" (which seems to me to describe the WI map) is the operating standard. Not "How many Republicans can I cram into this funky district while still ensuring a Democratic majority?"

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann, I'm with cubanbob. If Democrats don't want their votes "wasted," then they ought to move somewhere other than Madison and Milwaukee. If they want to crowd together in cities, leaving everywhere else mildly Republican, I don't see that the government is under any obligation to stop them.

And, as a reminder, Senate races can't be gerrymandered, nor governorships (little provisos for NE and ME notwithstanding). We're talking state legislatures and the House here.

Richard Dolan said...

"Hard to believe that won't be what we get one more time here."

Sounds right, unless the case goes off on the standing issue that got some attention during the argument.

TWW said...

I reject Justice Kennedy's premise. Gerrymandering is a wholly political process. To believe that there is a specific point where a political process becomes too political, and so unconstitutional, is hubris to a degree not seen since William O. Douglas. And, to believe it is the responsibility of one branch of government to dictate to another the precise limits of a political process is abusive.

Anonymous said...

I haven't made it to the end of the transcript, yet, but I found this very interesting:

Smith:
And in this case, they all come to the exact same conclusion that this is one of the most extreme gerrymanders ever drawn in -- in living memory of the United States, one of the five worst out of the 230 maps that Professor Jackman studied.


Let's look at the WI "extreme (Republican) gerrymander:
Wisconsin Map

So, now let's look at Maryland's (pro-Democrat) gerrymander:
<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Maryland_Congressional_Districts,_113th_Congress.tif>Maryland Map</a>

I really wish one of the lawyers would have held up these two maps, with their "gerrymander rating", then pointed out to the Chief Justice that no intelligent individual is going to look at those two maps, and decide that the Wisconsin one is the "extreme" one

Anonymous said...

(Oops, link fixed)

I haven't made it to the end of the transcript, yet, but I found this very interesting:

Smith:
And in this case, they all come to the exact same conclusion that this is one of the most extreme gerrymanders ever drawn in -- in living memory of the United States, one of the five worst out of the 230 maps that Professor Jackman studied.


Let's look at the WI "extreme (Republican) gerrymander:
Wisconsin Map

So, now let's look at Maryland's (pro-Democrat) gerrymander:
Maryland Map

I really wish one of the lawyers would have held up these two maps, with their "gerrymander rating", then pointed out to the Chief Justice that no intelligent individual is going to look at those two maps, and decide that the Wisconsin one is the "extreme" one

Anonymous said...

Ann Althouse said...
The "efficiency gap" assumes that political parties have a right to maximize the power of aggregated voters, so that if Democrats concentrate in a city (like Milwaukee or Madison), it's not fair for them to be stuck winning elections by big margins when they could win more districts if their voters were distributed in different ways.


Bingo. And the idea that, if they don't want their vote "diluted", they shouldn't cram themselves into ideologically homogenous districts, THAT idea is heresy!

tim in vermont said...

Remember the lengths Democrats went to to maintain their gerrymandered majorities in Texas when Democrats got all the House seats and the Republicans the votes? They actually tried to prevent the legislature from redrawing it after the census.

All ethics and morality is predicated on what will help the Democrats.

buwaya said...

It doesn't seem likely that WI congressional districts are Gerrymandered either.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisconsin%27s_congressional_districts

WI districts are pretty stable over time.

buwaya said...

California congressional districts in comparison can be pretty strange -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California%27s_congressional_districts

MikeR said...

Hey, gregg, that's my Baltimore district in your link! #3 strung all around district #7.

WisRich said...

buwaya said...
It doesn't seem likely that WI congressional districts are Gerrymandered either.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisconsin%27s_congressional_districts

WI districts are pretty stable over time.

10/3/17, 4:10 PM
----------

Exactly. It's not the shifting lines that are causing them to lose, it's their policies.

tim in vermont said...

Why should the urban centers get to pick who represents farms forests and mines? It's the same argument as for the Electoral College.

George Grady said...

The efficiency gap metric is more-or-less equivalent to a parliamentary system. I don't see how the constitution requires that.

Mark said...

That Wisconsin map posted isnt what they are complaining about. Its the WI Assembly and State Senate that is being challenged.

Could have predicted folks here would find a straw man to complain about. Zero honesty in the discussion, as usual ... just more partisan red meat.

Jupiter said...

"But if HC had appointed the Scalia replacement, I think these plaintiffs would have won."

Which means that as far as you are concerned, Kennedy's concerns about the Court's reputation are moot. It matters not whether the barn door is closed or open, once the horses are all donkeys.

Static Ping said...

I suspect that it is possible that a district could be made that was unconstitutional. For instance, if you made a district that only had one eligible voter by creative use of non-citizens and minors I could see that violating something.

rhhardin said...

One man one vote.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

State districting is not the business of SCOTUS.

buwaya said...

"That Wisconsin map posted isnt what they are complaining about. Its the WI Assembly and State Senate that is being challenged."

But the national argument about Gerrymandering is about congressional districts.

Oh well, here are the WI State districts -

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/ltsb/gisdocs/AssemblyMaps/Statewide_Assembly_Map_Poster.pdf

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/ltsb/gisdocs/SenateMaps/Statewide_Senate_Map_Poster.pdf

They seem quite regular and uncontroversial, except within the city of Milwaukee, and some in Dane county, but looking at the country election map those complex bits all vote Democrat anyway.

Mark said...

Look at what happened in western, far north, and central Wisconsin pre and post redistricting in the Assembly.

They very effectively eliminated most of the Dem districts there with the new lines.

I know the new districts drew a line through our school district, lumping the heavy blue area with an urban area and splitting the mized portion off to lump with a very red town. What used to be competitive races and logical districts have been eliminated as a good Dem candidate could end up winning.

Packed and cracked with advanced computer gerrymandering.

To act as if one can judge by looking at how weird a district looks on a map vs understanding how those communities are on the ground is idiotic.

Hagar said...

One man one vote.
One time.

buwaya said...

"I know the new districts drew a line through our school district, lumping the heavy blue area with an urban area and splitting the mized portion off to lump with a very red town"

And this was not done with various "red" areas as well? Split in some way that doesn't make sense on some level? Or "red" bits embedded in, say, parts of Dane? There is no perfect justice in this life.

And this does not get at the substance of the complaint, which pretty much amounts to the population of Milwaukee, thats where your "wasted votes" really are.

buwaya said...

I.e., to actually resolve your Wisconsin "voting inefficiency", you would have to draw a bunch of essentially radial slices emanating from Milwaukee into its rather distant suburbs. It would look, I think, something like half a pizza with a dozen slices.

The alternative, less troublesome and bizarre, would be for the WI Democratic party to adjust its platform into something that would suit the bulk of the voters better.

tim in vermont said...

They very effectively eliminated most of the Dem districts there with the new lines.

Maybe if you guys hadn't gone all ape-shit over Walker.... Naah!

tim in vermont said...

If they win Mark, everything else is on the table, and I'm sure you know that, but it's not in your partisan interest to acknowledge it, is it, despite your "these are not the droids you are looking for" argument.

Gahrie said...

They very effectively eliminated most of the Dem districts there with the new lines.

Oh my God...

You mean after they won an election the Republicans redrew the lines that Democrats had drawn to benefit Democrats so that they helped Republicans instead?

Quelle horror!

Gahrie said...

Could have predicted folks here would find a straw man to complain about. Zero honesty in the discussion, as usual ... just more partisan red meat.

I'm just glad we had you here to straighten us out.

Boundaries for state representatives and senators is even less the business of the Supreme Court.

Mark said...

Can someone please explain to me exactly what the objection here is? What the unconstitutionality is?

Are people in a given district prohibited from casting votes for whomever they want? In District 1 are they barred from voting for a Democrat? And in District 2 are they barred from voting for a Republican?

If not, what's the problem?

Mark said...

I have very little sympathy for people bitching about more people of their party not being elected.

Nine times out of ten the person I vote for loses or the ballot issue I vote on goes the other way. Every election ends up mostly being an F-you to me. Meanwhile, the party I would be aligned with for the last 20 years has handed me a crap sandwich to eat (which I don't).

Yeah, the whole system is totally fucked. What would make it even more so is for the courts to take over (more than they already have destroyed the concept of democratic self-rule in this country).

Greg Hlatky said...

The 14th Amendment: the Swiss army knife of the Constitution.

Anonymous said...

Mark said...
That Wisconsin map posted isnt what they are complaining about. Its the WI Assembly and State Senate that is being challenged.

Could have predicted folks here would find a straw man to complain about. Zero honesty in the discussion, as usual ... just more partisan red meat.


Gee, and those maps are so totally horrible ... that Mark didn't post a link to them, to show us how horrible they are!

While you're at it, could you explain what business the US Court system has decided what the WI State Legislative districts should be?

Mark said...

The wasted votes are not just Milwaukee, despite how many times you try to prop up that straw man its still bullshit.

Too much deliberate misunderstanding here to waste my time with more.

Greg, there is a thing called Google. If you cannot be bothered to look into the issue then why are you even commenting?

Anonymous said...

Here you go, Mark:

Wi State Senate Map

Now, please explain how this is worse than the Maryland Congressional Map

Everything looks contiguous here.

Mr. Majestyk said...

OT, but the law should be that representatives represent VOTERS, or at least eligible voters, not persons. Why should, for example, children or noncitizens get "representation" in the legislature when they can't vote and would not be able to vote if we had a direct democracy?