Home | About | Donate

Democracy Wins as 'Biggest Gerrymandering Case in Generation' Moves Forward


Democracy Wins as 'Biggest Gerrymandering Case in Generation' Moves Forward

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

A panel of federal judges on Wednesday advanced what an expert says could be "the biggest gerrymandering case in a generation"—one that could have nationwide implications for elections and democracy across the United States.


If people should have the right to choose their representatives then they need more than a two-party system from which to choose.


"The ruling has no bearing on voting this November, and a decision would apply only to future elections."

The old switcheroo.


Yet one more story reminding us how important it is to have a good SCOTUS and a fair judiciary all around.


Gerrymandering is the best way ever invented to 'rig' an election.
I know it was started by Representative Gerry up in Massachusetts a few hundred years ago, but was he a Whig or a Democrat?
Being from Massachusetts he was probably a Democrat.


You're back with this worn out old meme about why we should vote for Hillary are you?

Vote for Stein is what I'm gonna do just for spite.


The importance of the SCOTUS is a fact - and the truth never gets worn out in my view. Whether that's suffices as a reason to vote for Clinton is a whole other issue. For me, it suffices to make me prefer she win over Trump by a long shot.
Most likely, I'll also vote for Stein since I plan to do that as long as Trump has at least a 90% chance of losing by the fivethirtyeight.com forecast come election day. I won't be doing it out of spite though. I'll be doing it because I want Stein to get over 5% of the vote and help build the Green Party in the future.


The increasingly vicious constraints on democracy will require engaging on many fronts. Contesting gerrymandering in the courts is one of them. Remember, the courts have been over-turning laws designed to make it difficult for people to vote of late. The fact that this case is moving forward is a positive, and heartening sign that reason could possibly prevail.


The gerrymandering of the judiciary makes the decisions about voter gerrymandering fraught with danger.
In progressive politics, i believe people know that real changes to our governance necessarily involve real changes to our justice system. Systemic change is progressive politics.
The revolution - actually creating democracy.


While we wait for the glorious day when gerrymandering is outlawed, efforts to replace congress, such as those undertaken by BNC in the next couple years, should challenge incumbents during the primaries in heavily gerrymandered districts. And yes, that would be most districts.


Jeeeez, a Democratic-Republican just like Hillary.
The more things change the more they stay the same.
Thanks jalp5dai.


I'll have to look that up.


Actually they sounded a lot like Trump does today.
Because Hillary also sounds a lot like Trump, if we strip out all of the name calling and focus on economic issues, the two of them would have made right fine Democratic-Republicans back in the day.


If we had taught Civics for the last thirty years you might have enough votes, but we didn't do that so all we have is an uneducated voting populace......WTF do you (we) expect? I'm down with a big change but the voting populace is broken. The 'stupid' factor overwhelms our country.


Well I just had to find examples of how bad this was and it is bad. Here are samples.


The next step is to challenge the idea of districts themselves. The system of letting one party "win" a district automatically disfranchises all voters who did not vote for the winning candidate, and even many who did, but only because they had no viable alternative. Anything other than a completely proportional system violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution. And the only proportional system that does not still skew the results is a proportional system where the representative districts overlap each other. Each of us can only be represented by someone who takes our general political preferences to the table in Washington or the state house. A "representative" whose politics I despise does not represent me. Similarly, a representative whose politics I approve does not represent my neighbor down the street whose political preferences are the opposite of mine. By chopping each state into little districts and only seating the "winning" candidate in each district, the system disfranchises all "losing" voters and also makes anything other than a mere two parties unworkable, because voters are forced to vote with an eye to a majority. It's win--or get nothing, so voters are chased away from smaller parties, even if they greatly prefer their policy proposals

The only way for us to be properly represented is if each party represents all of its voters statewide. If the state has a house delegation of ten seats, then it should be enough, under a strictly proportional system, for a party to get ten percent of the vote to get a seat. A party that only gets enough votes for one seat would then have a "district" that covers the entire state. A party with twice as many votes and getting two seats would split its representation in two and each of its seated representatives would represent half the state, and so on, with each party representing its own voters. Unless we enact such a system, the house will still be gerrymandered no matter how "fairly" the district lines are drawn, because it will by definition give the "winning" party control of a whole district, regardless of the mix of different voters residing there, thus disfranchising whole groups of voters.


How old do you think the republic is?
Let's see, we declared our independence in 1776 and this is 2016 = 240 years. Give or take a few hours.
If we want to count from 1787 when we signed our Constitution = 229 years.
I hope those facts are helpful to you?


Similar district outlines are used by school districts to segregate schools in some areas. I mention Calhoun County, Alabama as an example where single streets of Hispanics were pulled out of the matrix and clustered with other districts.


See jal5dia's post, and Wikipedia for details.
IIRC, Elgridge Gerry was Governor of Massachusetts when the state redistricting plan drew scorn in a cartoon for the outlandish shape of districts.
Elbridge Gerry was a Founding Father, signing the Decl. of Independence, and attended but refused to sign the Constitution on 'Jeffersonian' grounds that more was needed in to protect the rights of states and individuals - from which we got the Bill of Rights, ...

Elbridge Gerry ended his life as a 'sell-out': He needed money and was given the Vice Presidency as a sinecure payoff.


Good topic to bring up. It also needs quite a bit more thinking outside the box.
First, as a bit of a counterexample, Britain and Canada also have district constituencies and first past the post election rules. Both also typically have about four (4) parties in Parliament. The Conservatives win hardly any seats in Quebec, and seats from Quebec get divided up between the Liberals and the Parti Quebecois.
-- Which illustrates one important point. Maybe there are issues that shouldn't be decided in WashDC or Ottawa. If a state like Vermont or a province like Quebec wants to enact far-left policies for the people, it should have the authority and right to do that. (And measure for measure, if a state and its people want to go a direction that upsets Common Dreams readers, it should have the right to make such a 'mistake'. Such as Brexit.)