Supreme Court Decision on Gerrymandering
FRESNO—Supreme Court justices “turned their backs on voters” with their decision to block federal courts from intervening with how Congressional districts are outlined. The Supreme Court ruling essentially reinforces the unfair advantage of “oddly shaped voting districts” by allowing the continuance of partisan gerrymandering.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who decided the 5-4 victory for conservatives, justified his decision by stating that “federal judges have no license to reallocate political power between the two major political parties, with no plausible grant of authority in the Constitution, and no legal standards to limit and direct their decisions.”
By allowing partisan gerrymandering to continue, the Supreme Court has implied that “free and fair” elections should not be part of America’s democracy. Although this decision will have different effects for different states, it “intensifies the importance of primary elections for candidates,” according to CNN Supreme Court analyst Steve Vladeck.
Furthermore, this decision indicates that “the only way we’ll end partisan gerrymandering is by voting Republicans out of power in state legislatures,” according to Jessica Post, executive director for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.
Opponents of the Supreme Court’s decision, such as Justice Elena Kagan, stated, “In the face of escalating partisan manipulation whose compatibility with this nation’s values and law no one defends—the majority declines to provide any remedy.
“For the first time in this nation’s history, the majority declares that it can do nothing about an acknowledged constitutional violation because it has searched high and low and cannot find a workable legal standard to apply.”
The Supreme Court decision was in response to districts gerrymandered by the Republican legislature in North Carolina. “Trump’s handpicked Supreme Court may not think what the NC GOP did was unconstitutional,” states Wayne Goodwin, chair of the N.C. Democratic Party, “but the millions of North Carolinians who’ve suffered for years under maps that silence them know: The right to have your vote count equally is the cornerstone of who we are as a nation.
“There is no issue that gerrymandering doesn’t touch. Expanding access to affordable healthcare, preventing gun violence, acting on climate change, protecting reproductive rights—across the board, the progress we all want depends on representative districts.”
“The Supreme Court decision upholding the N.C. gerrymandering institutionalizes another roadblock to fair and transparent elections,” says Michael D. Evans, chair of the Fresno County Democratic Party.” But our role now is clear: We must oust the party that set in motion this un-democratic through aggressive voter education and turnout. We will return democracy to our country.”
The Fresno County Democratic Party serves as the official governing entity of the Democratic Party in the county in cooperation with the state and national Democratic committees. Visit the local Democratic Party at 1033 U Street in downtown Fresno. For more information, contact 559-495-0606 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael D. Evans
Chair, Fresno County Democratic Party