The End of Gerrymandering

Old Elbridge Gerry was a goat fucker, I’m convinced.

Gerrymandering, especially the weaponized form used by the GOP to intentionally screw the Democrats, isn’t just a product of politics ain’t beanball.  No, what the GOP did in states like AZ, MI, WI, NC, PA and OH was downright undemocratic and courts have found it so.

The difficulty in curbing partisan gerrymandering has not been in convincing judges that the practice is unconstitutional—the Supreme Court has found that it is—it’s convincing judges that they can fix it.

Redistricting in such a discriminatory way just has to go (along with money in politics and the electoral college).  Slate has the story of how it might go, faster and sooner than people think (but not soon enough).

But first a reminder that in the debates about how the democrats have lost thousands of seats over the last decade, a large chunk of that is because of this toxic gerrymandering.

The imbalance was particularly apparent in Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, where Democrats won more than half the votes but less than half the congressional seats.

Also, too, in addition to that let’s be reminded that states like Kentucky and West Virginia, along with lots of seats in the South were just vestigially Democratic in the 21st century. Local conservative pols who remained Democratic because of tradition, finally switched over after  decades of voting with the GOP.

So while I’m not arguing that the Dems don’t have to make structural and strategic changes to how they do business, it’s not as bad as some would have you think.

Litigator Paul Smith thinks he can get the Supreme Court to rule that gerrymandering violates  individual’s rights to free speech and equal protection.  If so a huge problem of political injustice is corrected…

Until somebody, probably a Republican, figures out another way to do it.

 

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