You get just a little bit of democracy, but no more
On the last day of the Supreme Court session, the court handed down two highly-anticipated decisions, both by 5-4 margins.
Firstly, it stopped a citizenship question from being included on the 2020 Census. This is good, as the question was nothing but a ploy to depress representation for communities of color, specifically Latinx communities.
But then—and this is the one trending on Twitter as of this moment—it ruled that courts have no role in policing partisan gerrymandering. Legislatures can draw the most obscenely gerrymandered districts to support the party in power, and it’s kosher.
The response to this should be twofold.
First, in states which allow ballot propositions, we have to get proposals for non-partisan redistricting commissions on the ballot. I always point to the example of California, where districts are drawn in a non-partisan manner. The result? Democrats have a supermajority in the state legislature, and the GOP held on to only seven House seats in the last election. When districts are drawn fairly, Democrats win.
But, in states where this isn’t an option, the path is clear: fight for every seat next year, take over legislatures, and gerrymander the hell out of the maps. In states we already control (New York, for example) it’s time to stick the knife in the GOP. Limit them to a few districts and obliterate them. The Court says it’s all right with Jesus, so who are we to not take them at their word?
The gerrymandering ruling is on the same level as the gutting of the Voting Rights Act. While the ruling on the census was welcome, it was diminished by the ruling on gerrymandering. This is par for the course from the Roberts Court. It allowed Obamacare to live, but allowed states to opt out of Medicare expansion, which in many ways hobbled the ACA. It’s a compliment sandwich, with feces in the middle.
So, no playing nice. The orders for next year are clear. We have to control as many states as possible as the census rolls out. You can be sure that the GOP will take heart from this ruling. We have to fight even harder.
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