Thursday, June 27, 2019

Gerrymandering - Geological Deceit? - 7

It says what the Supremes
say it says

The issues involved in this Dredd Blog series (Gerrymandering - Geological Deceit?, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) have now been decided in terms of federal court involvement.

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Rucho v. Common Cause, No. 18-422 (U.S. Jun. 27, 2019), ruled that federal courts have no jurisdiction to decide gerrymandering issues.

It was a 5-4 decision.

One has to wonder why, after a couple of hundred years, this important issue has not been considered and dealt with by the federal government.

The states do not have final authority on the issue, because the U.S. Constitution has specific language to that effect (more on that later in this post).

In the previous post I wrote:
Why not simply make one or more counties the voting districts, and allow she or he who wins the most counties to become elected?

I say that because counties already hold elections and have the apparatus to do so, in both federal and state elections.

It will save the expense we now have in managing votes in far flung and outlandishly shaped gerrymandered voting districts.

Meanwhile the counties already exist and have the money to conduct elections.
(Gerrymandering - Geological Deceit? - 6). The Congress could enact federal law to implement that process:
"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."
(Article I, Section 4, emphasis added; cf. The Elections Clause). If they passed legislation to require that counties (or the equivalent) or combinations thereof must compose the districts for electing members of the House of Representatives, it would simplify elections.

But here we go again, almost starting over.

The only consolations to the dilemma is that the supreme courts of some states have outlawed partisan gerrymandering, while others have passed laws by referendum of the people to require bipartisan commissions to set the election district boundaries.

We now enter a contentious time due to one of the main practices of our government bodies: "kick the can down the road."

The previous post in this series is here.

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