Law Review: Partisan gerrymandering (rigging elections) before the US Supreme Court
“This case involves the most extreme partisan gerrymander to rig congressional elections that has ever been presented to this court since the one-person/one-vote cases.”
The lawyer challenging North Carolina’s fraudulent and partisan redistricting of Congressional elections to favor Republicans opened his argument with that line. A true statement.
Retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy once wrote about gerrymandering: “Partisan gerrymandering jeopardizes the ordered working of our Republic and of the Democratic process … at its extreme, the practice amounts to ‘rigging elections.’” After he wrote that, I closed a Law Review analyzing North Carolina’s corrupt gerrymandering with: “Come on Justice Kennedy, you can do it.”
Now we have Justice Kavanaugh who, shockingly, expressed angst when the North Carolina case was argued before the Supreme Court last week. Observers of the Court session responded that Kavanaugh hinted he would rule partisan gerrymandering illegal.
That is about as likely to happen as Donald Trump stopping texting or telling the truth.
TWO CASES BEFORE THE COURT
There are two cases before the Supreme Court that were just argued, the first out of North Carolina where Republicans have commanded a lopsided majority in the state Congressional delegation for most of the past decade notwithstanding they do not actually have the votes, but they have manipulated the boundaries to stay in power. The second case is out of Maryland’s Sixth Congressional district where Republican voters are challenging grossly manipulated Congressional boundaries drawn by partisan Democrats. Corruption on both sides of the aisle.
In the North Carolina case, the lawyer representing the Republicans argued proudly, “gerrymandering has been a feature of American politics since the founding of the republic.” Now that makes me feel good. Elected officials have been manipulating elections since day one, so it’s okay.
U.S. SUPREME COURT
As you well know, I’m fast losing faith in our Supreme Court. Our narcissistic President Trump elects Supreme Court candidates exclusively from a list provided to him by the Federalist Society, a highly partisan Republican group.
In ending a previous gerrymandering column I wrote: “When Kavanaugh is approved (which I predicted in my column), you can pretty much count on how he will vote on the (gerrymandering) appeal.” We’ll soon see as the case was just argued.
The (growing) conservative wing of the Supreme Court will “talk the talk” about rigged elections, but allow the disenfranchisement to go on and will punt the matter saying fair elections are a matter for state legislatures. That sellout conveniently ignores that state legislatures throughout the country are partisan so whoever is in power draws the boundaries and stays in power. Corruption at its finest.
And Mitch McConnell (majority leader of the U.S. Senate) and other Congressional representatives can’t understand why the public lacks faith in the system.
Jim Porter, who previously served on the FPPC, is an attorney with Porter Simon licensed in California and Nevada, with offices in Truckee and Tahoe City, California, and Reno, Nevada. Jim’s practice areas include: real estate, development, construction, business, HOA’s, contracts, personal injury, accidents, mediation and other transactional matters. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.portersimon.com.