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The Supreme Court takes up a second gerrymandering case

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Joe Marlowe

The plaintiffs complain about partisan gerrymandering in respect of one congressional district.
There is something surreal about the complaint: like a knife where the blade has broken off, and the handle is missing.
Isn't it logically inescapable that if you have Gerrymandered one seat, you have, necessarily, Gerrymandered the remaining N-1 seats by definition?
What is the remedy they seek from the court? How are they going to "fix" the Gerrymandering of one seat without also changing the makeup in at least one other seat? And if the legislative body has the power to "fix" one seat, then it exercised the very same subjective power to choose to Gerrymander every other seat, or not.
The idea that you can distinguish the Gerrymandering of one seat from the Gerrymandering of an entire map is a distinction without a difference. Once you start pulling on one thread, the entire garment will eventually unravel.
But sure, knock yourself out ...


I don't care what party one aligns (I'm a Libertarian, full disclosure), gerrymandering is partisan hackery no matter what way you look at it. Draw maps based on population and let the voters decide who should represent them, not the politicians. Gerrymandering has turned American elections into pre-decided farces along party lines masquerading as democracy. The only real difference between American Republicanism and Soviet-style authoritarianism is that the Soviets were at least honest enough codify their party dictatorship - the American duopoly still likes to pretend that whichever party happens to not be in power that election cycle is in "opposition". Minor differences between them at best and usually only in methodology, not substance. America should take a lesson in European parliamentary democracy, where proportional representation allows for a variety of parties from across the spectrum some level of participation.

Evil Overlord

If the justices really do intend to create barriers to gerrymandering, good for them; it's well past time.
I'm a bit concerned with their apparent concern about being portrayed as partisan, but that's a hole they dug for themselves, and it's high time they got out of it.


Most of the conservative justices would be against because the majority of gerrymandering has been done by them, not only for the US Congress but for the legislatures in their own states. For one district in MD and perhaps in IL, the most gerrymandered states are NC, WI, VA and PA. Its gotten so bad that in some recent elections the Democrats received more votes and found themselves with a vast minority of seats. It will be interesting to see if some justices vote differently on the matter depending on which helps their party.


Just a technical point on the way the article presents the First Amendment and "retaliation" issue. Those not in the loop might think that some of what is said in that paragraph is in the First Amendment text itself. It's not of course: it's the Supreme Court who have in the past decided that both the free speech, plus the petitioning government text in the First results in a prohibition on "retaliation". But it's not there in black-and-white in the Constitution.


CNBC just published an opinion stating that Mueller's impartiality is damaged goods and that he should step down as special counsel in order 'to save the Russia investigation'. If Mueller's impartiality is damaged goods, how can the team he put together not be like-wise suspect? the bunch of head-hunters he assembled, Democrat contributors all, have demonstrated bias. What's left to save of the Russia investigation.
Placing this comment in this blog about gerrymandering is not off topic, since The Economist doesn't provide the dedicated forum requisite to the discussion of anything that doesn't comport with its neo-lib progressive false-news doctrine, which includes lies of omission, and the public has every reason to fend off that propaganda.

guest-ajanwolo in reply to guest-nosliol

Lets start with the election integrity and voter fraud commission which is full of dems and all the dems are actively not sharing investigative findings with the republicans.
That commission headed by Pence and Koback sounds totally non-biased and seems to be a true "fact-finding" mission which was not at all formed coz trump believes that 50 million illegal votes were cast.


While there is no direct constitutional requirement mandating proportional representation, any fair-minded person recognizes this outcome as anti-democratic and perverse. But what is an appropriate remedy? Most suggestions involve some kind of quota system as a test of electoral fairness, but pre-selecting certain groups as "protected" puts the system in a terrible bind. Why are political parties and race more deserving than sexual orientation, or home vs public schoolers? This is why the “math tests” are ultimately pointless.

Only some form or proportional voting ensures our constitution rights are respected, while avoiding equally troublesome preferences- in other words, there is no geographic test that can satisfy Justice Kennedy’s concerns— see

CaptainRon in reply to guest-owwmiew

You had me until the end. I don't think giving voice to parties that normally finish with under 5% of the vote really need representation. I'd hate to be in the district that gets assigned a representative that less than 1 in 20 voted for. Granted such a system might increase those numbers, but in our system third parties have not made any effort to start small and build a grassroots movement. If they want to be represented in Congress they should first work to get people elected at a local or state level first. I think it disingenuous that they demand to take a part in the Presidential debates when they can't even get elected at the lower levels of government.