Author Topic: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .  (Read 2390 times)

GuitarStv

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Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« on: June 30, 2019, 08:04:15 AM »
Anyone notice this supreme court decision on Thursday?


“For the first time ever, this Court refuses to remedy a constitutional violation because it thinks the task beyond judicial capabilities.  The partisan gerrymanders here debased and dishonored our democracy, turning upside-down the core American idea that all governmental power derives from the people.”  - Justice Kagan


Seems kinda bad for democracy.  Good for Republicans though!

FIREstache

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2019, 08:18:54 AM »

Yeah, it was all over the news.

MDM

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2019, 09:17:43 AM »
Seems kinda bad for democracy.  Good for Republicans though!
In the two specific cases considered, one favored Democrats and the other favored Republicans.  They all do it.

GuitarStv

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2019, 09:30:32 AM »
Seems kinda bad for democracy.  Good for Republicans though!
In the two specific cases considered, one favored Democrats and the other favored Republicans.  They all do it.

Agreed.

But there's a reason the Republcan selected SC picks all OK'd gerrymandering.
https://www.businessinsider.com/partisan-gerrymandering-has-benefited-republicans-more-than-democrats-2017-6

MDM

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2019, 09:40:42 AM »
Seems kinda bad for democracy.  Good for Republicans though!
In the two specific cases considered, one favored Democrats and the other favored Republicans.  They all do it.

Agreed.

But there's a reason the Republcan selected SC picks all OK'd gerrymandering.
https://www.businessinsider.com/partisan-gerrymandering-has-benefited-republicans-more-than-democrats-2017-6
Are you suggesting that the saintly Democrat-appointed judges rule based on legal merits while the rascally Republican-appointed judges rule based on politics?

bacchi

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2019, 11:20:32 AM »
Seems kinda bad for democracy.  Good for Republicans though!
In the two specific cases considered, one favored Democrats and the other favored Republicans.  They all do it.

Agreed.

But there's a reason the Republcan selected SC picks all OK'd gerrymandering.
https://www.businessinsider.com/partisan-gerrymandering-has-benefited-republicans-more-than-democrats-2017-6
Are you suggesting that the saintly Democrat-appointed judges rule based on legal merits while the rascally Republican-appointed judges rule based on politics?

If a case is heard in a courtroom in front of Thomas, is it still heard?

GuitarStv

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2019, 11:22:07 AM »
No.  I'm suggesting that gerrymandering is a subversion of democracy, and the democratic judges aren't currently in favour of it.

MDM

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2019, 11:37:07 AM »
No.  I'm suggesting that gerrymandering is a subversion of democracy, and the democratic judges aren't currently in favour of it.
Do you believe districts should be drawn to ensure minority-majority ones (and if so, how should the remainder be drawn?), or should an algorithm such as "minimum perimeter" be used with no demographic input, or...?

MDM

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2019, 11:37:56 AM »
If a case is heard in a courtroom in front of Thomas, is it still heard?
Of course.  Might not, however, get much immediate feedback.... ;)

GuitarStv

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2019, 01:09:42 PM »
No.  I'm suggesting that gerrymandering is a subversion of democracy, and the democratic judges aren't currently in favour of it.
Do you believe districts should be drawn to ensure minority-majority ones (and if so, how should the remainder be drawn?), or should an algorithm such as "minimum perimeter" be used with no demographic input, or...?

Generally I favour a minimum perimeter algorithm, but there are a variety of ways to fix gerrymandering that would work fine.

MDM

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2019, 02:33:36 PM »
Generally I favour a minimum perimeter algorithm....
+1  Cheers!

six-car-habit

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2019, 03:50:59 PM »
 I noted they said "Federal judges" don't / won't have the power to intervene.

 So this puts the onus on the State elected / appointed judges instead  ?? ..... Each state could rule differently case by case....

 I am glad i live in a state where citizen begun [ intiaitve process ] proposals are relatively easy to get on the ballot.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2019, 05:35:01 PM »
Anyone notice this supreme court decision on Thursday?


“For the first time ever, this Court refuses to remedy a constitutional violation because it thinks the task beyond judicial capabilities.  The partisan gerrymanders here debased and dishonored our democracy, turning upside-down the core American idea that all governmental power derives from the people.”  - Justice Kagan


Seems kinda bad for democracy.  Good for Republicans though!

Why do you you care so much about US politics?  Not necessarily a bad thing, just curious.

JetBlast

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2019, 06:57:15 PM »
Link to the opinion and dissent for anyone that wants to read them and decide for themselves.
http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf/18-422_9ol1.pdf


GuitarStv

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2019, 07:14:37 PM »
Anyone notice this supreme court decision on Thursday?


“For the first time ever, this Court refuses to remedy a constitutional violation because it thinks the task beyond judicial capabilities.  The partisan gerrymanders here debased and dishonored our democracy, turning upside-down the core American idea that all governmental power derives from the people.”  - Justice Kagan


Seems kinda bad for democracy.  Good for Republicans though!

Why do you you care so much about US politics?  Not necessarily a bad thing, just curious.

Fair question.

I guess for a few reasons.  A lot of US political policies and decisions end up having knock on impacts to us (for example - by making it very easy for criminals to get hand guns, we have more hand gun crime using US purchased guns).  In a lot of ways, the US is a cultural leader for the world . . . when things are going obviously poorly it's a bit scary.  Donald Trump has openly embraced racism in a way that is unusual in our country.  Canadian politics tends to be a bit more tame.  Given that this is an American website with mostly American members I wouldn't expect that there would be many people interested in a Canadian politics discussion.  Political arguments tend to carry across borders.  Every country has a left and a right, and similar issues are often debated here . . . similar reasoning can be found in much of the debate.  Also, why should Russians get all the influence in US politics?  :P
« Last Edit: June 30, 2019, 07:17:24 PM by GuitarStv »

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2019, 07:20:23 PM »
What part of the majority's reasoning do you disagree with?  I also do not like the end result of this opinion, and I have not read it yet, but a friend of mine who clerked at SCOTUS thought it was pretty well written.

I'll read it over lunch or something this week.

innkeeper77

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2019, 07:51:52 PM »
Seems kinda bad for democracy.  Good for Republicans though!
In the two specific cases considered, one favored Democrats and the other favored Republicans.  They all do it.

Technically, yes. However as far as I am aware, the majority of Democrats against gerrymandering support ending  it entirely, even when it benefits them. It's unfair, and undemocratic, no matter which side does it.

Leisured

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2019, 01:32:15 AM »
In Australia, we have had an independent electoral commission since 1984. There seems to be no definite rule for determining boundaries, except that bizarre shapes are forbidden. Each electorate has roughly the same number of voters, which is allowed to vary from the national average by + or - 10%.

Below is a map of Australian Federal electorates. Most shapes are close to a minimum perimeter, but some country electorates have to allow for State boundaries. There needs to be occasional alteration of boundaries, as towns grow or shrink. I hope the link works.

https://www.aec.gov.au/profiles/files/aec-boundary-map-june-2010.pdf



John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2019, 07:11:38 PM »
What part of the majority's reasoning do you disagree with?  I also do not like the end result of this opinion, and I have not read it yet, but a friend of mine who clerked at SCOTUS thought it was pretty well written.

I'll read it over lunch or something this week.

The essence of the majority opinion is that the Political Question Doctrine applies   to the claims before the Court.


"Sometimes, however, the law is that the judicial department has no business entertaining the claim of unlawfulness—because the question is entrusted to one of the political branches or involves no judicially enforceable rights...In such a case the claim is said to present a 'political question' and to be nonjusticiable—outside the courts’ competence and therefore beyond the courts’ jurisdiction...the political question cases the Court has identified are those that lack 'judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving them.'"


 "The question here is whether there is an 'appropriate role for the Federal Judiciary' in remedying the problem of partisan gerrymandering—whether such claims are claims of legal right, resolvable according to legal principles, or political questions that must find their resolution elsewhere."


"As noted, the question is one of degree: How to 'provide a standard for deciding how much partisan dominance is too much.' And it is vital in such circumstances that the Court act only in accord with especially clear standards: With uncertain limits, intervening courts—even when proceeding with best intentions—would risk assuming political, not legal, responsibility for a process that often produces ill will and distrust."


« Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 07:42:00 PM by John Galt incarnate! »

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2019, 08:34:11 PM »
What part of the majority's reasoning do you disagree with?  I also do not like the end result of this opinion, and I have not read it yet, but a friend of mine who clerked at SCOTUS thought it was pretty well written.

I'll read it over lunch or something this week.

The essence of the majority opinion is that the Political Question Doctrine applies   to the claims before the Court.


"Sometimes, however, the law is that the judicial department has no business entertaining the claim of unlawfulness—because the question is entrusted to one of the political branches or involves no judicially enforceable rights...In such a case the claim is said to present a 'political question' and to be nonjusticiable—outside the courts’ competence and therefore beyond the courts’ jurisdiction...the political question cases the Court has identified are those that lack 'judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving them.'"


 "The question here is whether there is an 'appropriate role for the Federal Judiciary' in remedying the problem of partisan gerrymandering—whether such claims are claims of legal right, resolvable according to legal principles, or political questions that must find their resolution elsewhere."


"As noted, the question is one of degree: How to 'provide a standard for deciding how much partisan dominance is too much.' And it is vital in such circumstances that the Court act only in accord with especially clear standards: With uncertain limits, intervening courts—even when proceeding with best intentions—would risk assuming political, not legal, responsibility for a process that often produces ill will and distrust."
Yes, I'm familiar with the political question doctrine, and I'm of the opinion the court should invoke this doctrine far more often.

Norioch

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2019, 09:02:28 PM »
Anyone notice this supreme court decision on Thursday?


“For the first time ever, this Court refuses to remedy a constitutional violation because it thinks the task beyond judicial capabilities.  The partisan gerrymanders here debased and dishonored our democracy, turning upside-down the core American idea that all governmental power derives from the people.”  - Justice Kagan


Seems kinda bad for democracy.  Good for Republicans though!

Why do you you care so much about US politics?  Not necessarily a bad thing, just curious.

Because people live and die by the decisions of politicians. It's really not something to take lightly.

Norioch

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2019, 09:13:30 PM »
This decision is pretty fucking blatantly awful, and it should come as no surprise to anyone who's paying attention that the majority-conservative Supreme Court delivered another fucking blatantly awful decision. Sure would have been nice if Merrick Garland had gotten a Senate hearing, or if Clinton had gotten to appoint Scalia's successor. Elections have consequences.

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2019, 11:00:39 AM »
This decision is pretty fucking blatantly awful, and it should come as no surprise to anyone who's paying attention that the majority-conservative Supreme Court delivered another fucking blatantly awful decision. Sure would have been nice if Merrick Garland had gotten a Senate hearing, or if Clinton had gotten to appoint Scalia's successor. Elections have consequences.

Methinks the Supreme Court's invocation of the Political Question Doctrine is an oblique way of it  saying "elections have consequences."
« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 11:04:35 AM by John Galt incarnate! »

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2019, 11:09:02 AM »

Yes, I'm familiar with the political question doctrine, and I'm of the opinion the court should invoke this doctrine far more often.

Based on my reading of your posts in other threads I gather that your are a federalist.

JetBlast

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2019, 11:54:12 AM »
This decision is pretty fucking blatantly awful, and it should come as no surprise to anyone who's paying attention that the majority-conservative Supreme Court delivered another fucking blatantly awful decision. Sure would have been nice if Merrick Garland had gotten a Senate hearing, or if Clinton had gotten to appoint Scalia's successor. Elections have consequences.

I don’t know. In my non-lawyer opinion after reading both opinions and mulling it over for a couple days I think it’s a pretty close case. If I had to vote, I’d have sided with Kagan’s opinion, but I can certainly see how reasonable people could vote otherwise.

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2019, 12:15:55 PM »

 If I had to vote, I’d have sided with Kagan’s opinion, but I can certainly see how reasonable people could vote otherwise.

"A constitution...is made for people of fundamentally differing views." Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 12:23:05 PM by John Galt incarnate! »

Enigma

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2019, 12:23:21 PM »
No.  I'm suggesting that gerrymandering is a subversion of democracy, and the democratic judges aren't currently in favour of it.

The United States is not a democracy it is a republic.  Individuals elect representatives that will represent them.  Gerrymandering is a result of that republic and both sides do it to help their representation.

Telecaster

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2019, 12:27:19 PM »
What part of the majority's reasoning do you disagree with?  I also do not like the end result of this opinion, and I have not read it yet, but a friend of mine who clerked at SCOTUS thought it was pretty well written.

I'll read it over lunch or something this week.

I have two objections.   First is that our democracy is fundamental based on the notions of equal protection and equal participation.  My vote should count the same as yours.  The purpose of partisan gerrymandering is to dilute the value of my vote.   That's not equal participation, and it prevents me from having a fair say in who my elected representatives are.

Second is the Justice Roberts said something like (wildly paraphrasing) "We don't agree with partisan gerrymandering, but it isn't our job to do anything about it."   But if you can't appeal to the Supreme Court, then who do you go to?   

habaneroNorway

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2019, 12:34:26 PM »
I find it utterly bizzare that a country's top court makes decisions depending - at least in certain controversial cases - on the judge's individual political/ideological views. That goes against the very idea of the rule of law. Someone always carries some ideological baggage of course, but I cannot remember a single case in which there has been any debate whatsoever on the political views of a top court judge where I live (our "supreme court" is the highest court of appeal, not a constitutional court). Hell, its not even considered newsworthy when someone leaves, someone comes in or a new head justice is appointed. Its a pick among the country's top legal scholars from the public and private sectors and from academia.

Telecaster

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #29 on: July 02, 2019, 12:37:01 PM »
No.  I'm suggesting that gerrymandering is a subversion of democracy, and the democratic judges aren't currently in favour of it.

The United States is not a democracy it is a republic.  Individuals elect representatives that will represent them.  Gerrymandering is a result of that republic and both sides do it to help their representation.

Gerrymandering is a result of corruption.   Some states like California have almost completely taken the political component out of it by having an independent commission draw the maps.  In Washington State we have a bi-partisan commission.   That's not perfect because it leads to a 50-50 map, but it does eliminate the worst of the corruption.   

Telecaster

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #30 on: July 02, 2019, 12:44:13 PM »
I find it utterly bizzare that a country's top court makes decisions depending - at least in certain controversial cases - on the judge's individual political/ideological views. That goes against the very idea of the rule of law. Someone always carries some ideological baggage of course, but I cannot remember a single case in which there has been any debate whatsoever on the political views of a top court judge where I live (our "supreme court" is the highest court of appeal, not a constitutional court). Hell, its not even considered newsworthy when someone leaves, someone comes in or a new head justice is appointed. Its a pick among the country's top legal scholars from the public and private sectors and from academia.

They are not supposed to make decisions on political views, but it is simply human nature to do so.   All of the justices were considered top legal minds before being appointed.   The Supreme Court hears cases that are not legally clear cut, therefore there is some room for interpretation, and each judge's philosophical view of the law will color that interpretation. 

habaneroNorway

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2019, 12:51:00 PM »

They are not supposed to make decisions on political views, but it is simply human nature to do so.   All of the justices were considered top legal minds before being appointed.   The Supreme Court hears cases that are not legally clear cut, therefore there is some room for interpretation, and each judge's philosophical view of the law will color that interpretation.

That makes little sense given that it generally splits between conservative/democratic judges. There is no reason why top legal scholars should systematically disagree on the law based on their own beliefs. Most other countries seem to manage it, for example. We also have split decisions of course (recently a high-profile one on the legality of property tax in the country's capital) It was a 3-2 vote and both sides argued well for their view, which is generally the case in any split decision, but there was no way whatsoever anyone could with any reasonable probability have estimated which judge would vote for what.

GuitarStv

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #32 on: July 02, 2019, 12:57:36 PM »
No.  I'm suggesting that gerrymandering is a subversion of democracy, and the democratic judges aren't currently in favour of it.

The United States is not a democracy it is a republic.  Individuals elect representatives that will represent them.

Republic: a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.

By definition, the 'republic' you're describing is a representational democracy.  Which means that the US is in fact, a democracy.  (It's also a republic, if that makes you happy.  No kings up in your business.)  But this is beside the point.


Gerrymandering is a result of that republic and both sides do it to help their representation.

Gerrymandering doesn't help representation.  It does the opposite in fact.  A properly gerrymandered district doesn't need to be listened to at all, as their winner is a sure thing.  It completely removes competition to the point that there isn't much point in holding elections in these districts.   This is effectively a way of disenfranchising voters and goes quite against the representational democratic idea that the modern US was founded upon.

As has been mentioned, only one political party in the US substantially gains from this subversion of representative democracy, and the same party is the one most fervent in defending it.

shenlong55

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #33 on: July 02, 2019, 02:06:53 PM »
What part of the majority's reasoning do you disagree with?  I also do not like the end result of this opinion, and I have not read it yet, but a friend of mine who clerked at SCOTUS thought it was pretty well written.

I'll read it over lunch or something this week.

Compare this ruling to the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling.  Even if the gerrymandering in this case were perfectly fine, I think the process was tainted.  I also think the conservative majority allowed their assumption that the plaintiffs were seeking a backdoor/judicial implementation of proportional representation to lead them to answering the wrong question, as Justice Kagan seems to be saying in her dissent.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 02:26:57 PM by shenlong55 »

Samuel

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #34 on: July 02, 2019, 02:09:09 PM »
Gerrymandering doesn't help representation.  It does the opposite in fact.  A properly gerrymandered district doesn't need to be listened to at all, as their winner is a sure thing.  It completely removes competition to the point that there isn't much point in holding elections in these districts.   This is effectively a way of disenfranchising voters and goes quite against the representational democratic idea that the modern US was founded upon.

As has been mentioned, only one political party in the US substantially gains from this subversion of representative democracy, and the same party is the one most fervent in defending it.

Among the many consequences of elections is the power to control redistricting. Republicans currently enjoy a big advantage because they won a ton of state house seats and governorship's in 2010, just in time for the redistricting fights following the 2010 Census. If Democrats get their act together they can do the same in 2020.



If anyone wants to learn way too much about it, FiveThirtyEight did an utterly fantastic deep dive (6 podcasts+several articles) on gerrymandering: https://fivethirtyeight.com/tag/the-gerrymandering-project/

Some takeaways: "Fair" redistricting is not nearly as simple or straightforward as you might think, you have to actively choose which elements of representation you prioritize and which you don't. Also it's less of a contributor to the rise of noncompetitive districts and political gridlock than you might assume. The polarizing of political opinions and self sorting into like minded communities that we're doing contributes much more to our current woes than gerrymandering does.

bacchi

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #35 on: July 02, 2019, 02:18:43 PM »

They are not supposed to make decisions on political views, but it is simply human nature to do so.   All of the justices were considered top legal minds before being appointed.   The Supreme Court hears cases that are not legally clear cut, therefore there is some room for interpretation, and each judge's philosophical view of the law will color that interpretation.

That makes little sense given that it generally splits between conservative/democratic judges. There is no reason why top legal scholars should systematically disagree on the law based on their own beliefs. Most other countries seem to manage it, for example. We also have split decisions of course (recently a high-profile one on the legality of property tax in the country's capital) It was a 3-2 vote and both sides argued well for their view, which is generally the case in any split decision, but there was no way whatsoever anyone could with any reasonable probability have estimated which judge would vote for what.

Yep. When you know how the votes will come down in a politically charged case before the decision is made, there's bias.

Gerrymandering will be revisited in 10 years when the Dems start winning more. Votes will flip.

habaneroNorway

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #36 on: July 02, 2019, 02:24:48 PM »
The US supreme court is clearly politically biased by design. That is Not A Good Thing.

Norioch

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #37 on: July 02, 2019, 02:27:44 PM »

They are not supposed to make decisions on political views, but it is simply human nature to do so.   All of the justices were considered top legal minds before being appointed.   The Supreme Court hears cases that are not legally clear cut, therefore there is some room for interpretation, and each judge's philosophical view of the law will color that interpretation.

That makes little sense given that it generally splits between conservative/democratic judges. There is no reason why top legal scholars should systematically disagree on the law based on their own beliefs. Most other countries seem to manage it, for example. We also have split decisions of course (recently a high-profile one on the legality of property tax in the country's capital) It was a 3-2 vote and both sides argued well for their view, which is generally the case in any split decision, but there was no way whatsoever anyone could with any reasonable probability have estimated which judge would vote for what.

Yep. When you know how the votes will come down in a politically charged case before the decision is made, there's bias.

Gerrymandering will be revisited in 10 years when the Dems start winning more. Votes will flip.

You're assuming Dems will ever start winning more. In Wiscosin they've already gerrymandered state legislative seats to lock out a Democratic majority, and then the Republican majority voted to take away redistricting power from the governor and give it to the state legislature. And the Republican state Supreme Court upheld that power grab. They're attempting to structure it so they can never lose, and by all appearances they will be successful.

GuitarStv

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #38 on: July 02, 2019, 02:31:11 PM »
Gerrymandering doesn't help representation.  It does the opposite in fact.  A properly gerrymandered district doesn't need to be listened to at all, as their winner is a sure thing.  It completely removes competition to the point that there isn't much point in holding elections in these districts.   This is effectively a way of disenfranchising voters and goes quite against the representational democratic idea that the modern US was founded upon.

As has been mentioned, only one political party in the US substantially gains from this subversion of representative democracy, and the same party is the one most fervent in defending it.

Among the many consequences of elections is the power to control redistricting. Republicans currently enjoy a big advantage because they won a ton of state house seats and governorship's in 2010, just in time for the redistricting fights following the 2010 Census. If Democrats get their act together they can do the same in 2020.

You seem to misunderstand my position.  Gerrymandering is the problem, not that the Republicans currently do it better than the Democrats.  Assuming that the democrats are able to gerrymander the hell out of things in 2020 . . . that's also bad.



If anyone wants to learn way too much about it, FiveThirtyEight did an utterly fantastic deep dive (6 podcasts+several articles) on gerrymandering: https://fivethirtyeight.com/tag/the-gerrymandering-project/

Some takeaways: "Fair" redistricting is not nearly as simple or straightforward as you might think, you have to actively choose which elements of representation you prioritize and which you don't. Also it's less of a contributor to the rise of noncompetitive districts and political gridlock than you might assume. The polarizing of political opinions and self sorting into like minded communities that we're doing contributes much more to our current woes than gerrymandering does.

I don't think fair redistricting is simple or straight forward.  It's essential though to avoid disenfranchising voters.  Are there other things contributing to political gridlock?  Hell yes!  But why not start at one thing that is an obvious and present problem?

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #39 on: July 02, 2019, 02:32:17 PM »
What part of the majority's reasoning do you disagree with?  I also do not like the end result of this opinion, and I have not read it yet, but a friend of mine who clerked at SCOTUS thought it was pretty well written.

I'll read it over lunch or something this week.

The essence of the majority opinion is that the Political Question Doctrine applies   to the claims before the Court.


"Sometimes, however, the law is that the judicial department has no business entertaining the claim of unlawfulness—because the question is entrusted to one of the political branches or involves no judicially enforceable rights...In such a case the claim is said to present a 'political question' and to be nonjusticiable—outside the courts’ competence and therefore beyond the courts’ jurisdiction...the political question cases the Court has identified are those that lack 'judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving them.'"


 "The question here is whether there is an 'appropriate role for the Federal Judiciary' in remedying the problem of partisan gerrymandering—whether such claims are claims of legal right, resolvable according to legal principles, or political questions that must find their resolution elsewhere."


"As noted, the question is one of degree: How to 'provide a standard for deciding how much partisan dominance is too much.' And it is vital in such circumstances that the Court act only in accord with especially clear standards: With uncertain limits, intervening courts—even when proceeding with best intentions—would risk assuming political, not legal, responsibility for a process that often produces ill will and distrust."

If the Supreme Court had bothered to look beyond the shores of the USA it would have found many practical examples of electoral divisions being created and reviewed by politically independent and neutral bodies using objective standards.  The only reason for them not to do that is because they didn't want to, for political reasons.


And the reasoning adopted by the court, that it is a political question to be resolved by politicians, is fundamentally obviated by the fact that if the court refuses to act then the question of gerrymandering will be asked of and resolved by politicians who have themselves been elected by the corrupt process which the court says it is their job to resolve.
 

Kris

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #40 on: July 02, 2019, 03:18:23 PM »
Gerrymandering doesn't help representation.  It does the opposite in fact.  A properly gerrymandered district doesn't need to be listened to at all, as their winner is a sure thing.  It completely removes competition to the point that there isn't much point in holding elections in these districts.   This is effectively a way of disenfranchising voters and goes quite against the representational democratic idea that the modern US was founded upon.

As has been mentioned, only one political party in the US substantially gains from this subversion of representative democracy, and the same party is the one most fervent in defending it.

Among the many consequences of elections is the power to control redistricting. Republicans currently enjoy a big advantage because they won a ton of state house seats and governorship's in 2010, just in time for the redistricting fights following the 2010 Census. If Democrats get their act together they can do the same in 2020.

You seem to misunderstand my position.  Gerrymandering is the problem, not that the Republicans currently do it better than the Democrats.  Assuming that the democrats are able to gerrymander the hell out of things in 2020 . . . that's also bad.


+1.

What's striking to me is, it seems like I only ever see people on the left saying this. Why don't I ever hear or see Republicans saying that gerrymandering is bad, no matter who does it, and it should be stopped?

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #41 on: July 02, 2019, 03:56:50 PM »


The polarizing of political opinions and self sorting into like minded communities that we're doing contributes much more to our current woes than gerrymandering does.

The Framers were concerned about the fractiousness of political factions.

Samuel

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #42 on: July 02, 2019, 04:33:31 PM »
Gerrymandering doesn't help representation.  It does the opposite in fact.  A properly gerrymandered district doesn't need to be listened to at all, as their winner is a sure thing.  It completely removes competition to the point that there isn't much point in holding elections in these districts.   This is effectively a way of disenfranchising voters and goes quite against the representational democratic idea that the modern US was founded upon.

As has been mentioned, only one political party in the US substantially gains from this subversion of representative democracy, and the same party is the one most fervent in defending it.

Among the many consequences of elections is the power to control redistricting. Republicans currently enjoy a big advantage because they won a ton of state house seats and governorship's in 2010, just in time for the redistricting fights following the 2010 Census. If Democrats get their act together they can do the same in 2020.

You seem to misunderstand my position.  Gerrymandering is the problem, not that the Republicans currently do it better than the Democrats.  Assuming that the democrats are able to gerrymander the hell out of things in 2020 . . . that's also bad.
I don't disagree (and neither really does the Supreme Court), but you were saying it only substantially benefits one party. I pointed out this is only temporarily the case because one party had an electoral wave at an opportune time and shamelessly pressed their advantage to the utmost, but that this could reverse quite quickly.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2019, 08:55:26 AM by Samuel »

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #43 on: July 02, 2019, 04:38:02 PM »

If the Supreme Court had bothered to look beyond the shores of the USA it would have found many practical examples of electoral divisions being created and reviewed by politically independent and neutral bodies using objective standards.  The only reason for them not to do that is because they didn't want to, for political reasons.


Though it is not common practice, some justices do commend and weigh  the value of judgments rendered by foreign courts.


"Judges in the United States are free to consult all manner of commentary...[we] should not abandon the effort to learn what we can from the experience and good thinking foreign sources may convey." Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #44 on: July 02, 2019, 09:17:09 PM »

Yes, I'm familiar with the political question doctrine, and I'm of the opinion the court should invoke this doctrine far more often.

Based on my reading of your posts in other threads I gather that your are a federalist.

Accurate, because I think it's the fairest way to deal with very controversial issues, although I'm not in the Federalist Society or anything.

I find it utterly bizzare that a country's top court makes decisions depending - at least in certain controversial cases - on the judge's individual political/ideological views.

This is precisely why, in my opinion, it's not appropriate for an unelected body of nine (our Supreme Court) to rule on politically loaded cases like abortion, campaign finance, etc. These are political questions better left to democracy.

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #45 on: July 03, 2019, 01:25:25 AM »

If the Supreme Court had bothered to look beyond the shores of the USA it would have found many practical examples of electoral divisions being created and reviewed by politically independent and neutral bodies using objective standards.  The only reason for them not to do that is because they didn't want to, for political reasons.


Though it is not common practice, some justices do commend and weigh  the value of judgments rendered by foreign courts.


"Judges in the United States are free to consult all manner of commentary...[we] should not abandon the effort to learn what we can from the experience and good thinking foreign sources may convey." Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg


Yes, which makes it all the more striking that in this case the majority justices deliberately chose to ignore practical solutions from outside the US in favour of political corruption that fundamentally destroys the democratic process.


I find it utterly bizzare that a country's top court makes decisions depending - at least in certain controversial cases - on the judge's individual political/ideological views.

This is precisely why, in my opinion, it's not appropriate for an unelected body of nine (our Supreme Court) to rule on politically loaded cases like abortion, campaign finance, etc. These are political questions better left to democracy.
Abortion is about human rights: a woman's fundamental freedom to private medical assistance free from government intervention.  And campaign finance laws are about preventing the rich from corrupting the systems that govern us all.  The conservative majority on the court has put individual personal preference and ideology above every known principle of freedom, fairness and democracy.

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #46 on: July 03, 2019, 05:20:16 AM »
And campaign finance laws are about preventing the rich from corrupting the systems that govern us all. 

The system is already corrupt.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #47 on: July 03, 2019, 05:47:34 AM »
Abortion is about human rights: a woman's fundamental freedom to private medical assistance free from government intervention.  And campaign finance laws are about preventing the rich from corrupting the systems that govern us all.  The conservative majority on the court has put individual personal preference and ideology above every known principle of freedom, fairness and democracy.

I do not want to derail this into an abortion debate, but many would disagree with your characterization of abortion. We do not possess, and never have possessed, complete autonomy over our bodies. The government has always been able to intervene in some capacity.

While I certainly understand and agree with a person’s general right to autonomy, abortion is tricky because it involves another human life, or the possibility of human life.

Is the fetus entitled to equal protection? Is it entitled to due process? If yes to either, at what stage?

These are age old philosophical questions, and the Supreme Court currently thinks the Constitution provides the fetus with due process and equal protection in the third trimester.

I frankly do not see how the Constitution answers these inquiries. I think it’s an ethical and moral issue that requires each local community (state) to answer rather than an unelected body of nine.

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #48 on: July 03, 2019, 08:05:28 AM »
And campaign finance laws are about preventing the rich from corrupting the systems that govern us all. 

The system is already corrupt.

Yes, because the Supreme Court has failed to recognise that the campaign finance laws they have allowed are the political equivalent of allowing the Russian and other foreign governments, and big corporations, to shout Fire in a crowded theatre.

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Re: Trumps SC judges just officially OK'd gerrymandering . . .
« Reply #49 on: July 03, 2019, 08:08:52 AM »
The government has always been able to intervene in some capacity.

Only in the very partial understanding of "government" and "always" which is mostly predicated on the views of recent fanatical evangelical Christians in the USA and only a small part of the tide of human history.