Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, October 05, 2017

Jeffrey Toobin: Toward the end of the Supreme Court's argument in Gill v. Whitford, about the future of partisan gerrymandering, there was a revealing moment about the place of the newest Justice in the esteem of at least one of his peers. In less than a year, Neil Gorsuch has dominated oral arguments, lectured his colleagues, and given dubiously appropriate public speeches. Questioning Paul Smith, the lawyer challenging Wisconsin's contorted district lines, Gorsuch made another pedantic gesture.

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The argument had gone on for nearly an hour when Gorsuch began a question as follows: "Maybe we can just for a second talk about the arcane matter of the Constitution." There was a rich subtext to this query. Originalists and textualists such as Gorsuch, and his predecessor on the Court, Antonin Scalia, often criticize their colleagues for inventing rights that are not found in the nation's founding document. Gorsuch's statement that the Court should spare "a second" for the "arcane" subject of the document was thus a slap at his ideological adversaries; of course, they, too, believe that they are interpreting the Constitution, but, in Gorsuch's view, only he cares about the document itself. ...

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is bent with age, can sometimes look disengaged or even sleepy during arguments, and she had that droopy look today as well. But, in this moment, she heard Gorsuch very clearly, and she didn't even raise her head before offering a brisk and convincing dismissal. In her still Brooklyn-flecked drawl, she grumbled, "Where did 'one person, one vote' come from?"

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Any SC Justice making a case for allowing gerrymandering should be impeached. Gorsuch is a disgusting human being forced on the nation by another disgusting human being, Mitch McConnell.

#1 | Posted by danni at 2017-10-04 08:24 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 7

but toobin...

-et al

#2 | Posted by Alexandrite at 2017-10-04 08:46 AM | Reply

The Court now has its third openly partisan, money grubbing, corrupt, untouchable Corporate whore. A man whose presence is only possible because McConnell dedicated his career to destroying Obama's legacy.

Originalist arguments are often absurd on their face and always hypocritical in their application. They are also deeply rooted in religious falsehoods. Taken to its limit labor would still have no right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Corporations already control 99.9% of all legislation and these conservatives still think that's not enough.

Gorsuch's recently gave a speech at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, enriching our clown President who appointed him. The event promotes the originalist conservative agenda of the Fund of American Studies' Defending Freedom and is invite-only.

This follows a pattern established by Thomas to support a political agenda, instead of enforcing the law as it is written, which is another hypocritical conservative talking point. Worse they are both pocketing money, directly and indirectly, through these political acts. Thomas uses his wife as an intermediary for the funds.

The hotel has been at the center of a lawsuit watchdog groups have brought against Trump alleging he has violated the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution by accepting payments from foreign governments through his hotel.

Gorsuch will rule on this case. So we have a Supreme Court justice effectively collaborating in President Trump's ongoing efforts to monetize the presidency, and doing it just days before he is set to hear a case in which the President himself has an enormous stake.

Gorsuch was appointed for life and becomes another untouchable Corporate whore.

#3 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-10-04 08:49 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 8

Garland seat was stolen. That's a fact jack.

#4 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2017-10-04 08:52 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 5

That tired old hack is the poster child for a mandatory retirement age.

#5 | Posted by nullifidian at 2017-10-04 09:12 AM | Reply

This gerrymandering case should be thrown out of court.

It is dubious on so many grounds.

Basically, Democrats are saying they have a constitutional right to win elections.

Also, look at Wisconsin's district map and then look at the district map for Illinois. Seriously, check them both out side-by-side.

#6 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-10-04 10:25 AM | Reply | Funny: 2

time.com

McCain Urges Supreme Court to 'Return Control of Our Elections to the People'

Sens. John McCain and Sheldon Whitehouse doubled down on their bipartisan effort encouraging the U.S. Supreme Court to create a new standard for determining the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering.

The Republican and Democratic senators reaffirmed their efforts Tuesday as the highest court in the U.S. heard oral arguments for a key case that could determine the future of partisan gerrymandering in the U.S. Gerrymandering is the drawing of electoral district lines to favor typically the party in power.

"The Court can clean up a cause of America's crisis in confidence in our democracy, protect our elections from wildly partisan ‘bulk' gerrymandering, and return control of our elections to the people," McCain and Whitehouse said in a joint statement on Tuesday "We hope the Court will."

#7 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2017-10-04 10:29 AM | Reply

This gerrymandering case should be thrown out of court.
It is dubious on so many grounds.
Basically, Democrats are saying they have a constitutional right to win elections.

If that's your take on it then you'll have to excuse me if I disregard you "dubious" opinion in its entirety.

#8 | Posted by jpw at 2017-10-04 11:42 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 4

Also, look at Wisconsin's district map and then look at the district map for Illinois. Seriously, check them both out side-by-side.

How about instead of whining about how 'they do it tooooo', call it out as BS by both sides?

#9 | Posted by jpw at 2017-10-04 11:43 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

If that's your take on it then you'll have to excuse me if I disregard you "dubious" opinion in its entirety.

#8 | Posted by jpw at 2017-10-04 11:42 AM | Reply | Flag:

DITTO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#10 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2017-10-04 11:44 AM | Reply

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That tired old hack is the poster child for a mandatory retirement age.

#5 | POSTED BY NULLIFIDIAN AT 2017-10-04 09:12 AM | REPLY | FLAG:

Citing Supreme Court decisions is Hackery? Great stuff Nullifidian.

#11 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2017-10-04 11:44 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

#8

Have you done any reading about this case?

#12 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-10-04 11:52 AM | Reply

#9

It's not that they do it too.

Wisconsin's map looks normal. Illinois' map is ridiculous.

#13 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-10-04 11:54 AM | Reply

It's sad to see how blatantly partisan Toobin has become.

You could literally feel the twisted anger and nasty condescension emanating from his pores as he wrote this piece.

#14 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-10-04 12:08 PM | Reply

It's not that they do it too.
Wisconsin's map looks normal. Illinois' map is ridiculous.

#13 | POSTED BY JEFFJ

If it achieves the same outcome then what it looks like is just foolish rationalization.

And 'but they're doing it worser', which is worst.

#15 | Posted by jpw at 2017-10-04 12:10 PM | Reply

Have you done any reading about this case?

#12 | POSTED BY JEFFJ

Not as much as I would like.

But the essence I got from what I've read is that the system has gotten so ridiculous the incumbents are basically choosing their voters.

Not the hackjob of Democrats are saying they have a constitutional right to win elections.

#16 | Posted by jpw at 2017-10-04 12:12 PM | Reply

The case is based out of Wisconsin.

Democratic voters are clustered mostly in 2 cities whereas the rest of the state has a majority of Republicans. The arguments that Democrats are using in this case are absurd.

#17 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-10-04 12:16 PM | Reply

I've read multiple articles on this case.

This one is pretty quick and easy to read (it also includes the 2 maps I've mentioned) and the authors have appropriate credentials:

www.nationalreview.com

#18 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-10-04 12:21 PM | Reply

After the title and first paragraph, I'm not holding out much hope.

I'll finish it later.

#19 | Posted by jpw at 2017-10-04 12:44 PM | Reply

This piece is a great satire of the absurdity of the plaintiff's case:

www.scotusblog.com

#20 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-10-04 12:45 PM | Reply

In a nutshell, Democrats are arguing that if they win 40% of the statewide popular vote they should win 40% of the seats and, if they don't, then it's the result of partisan gerrymandering.

If NRO is unpalatable, read the scotusblog piece I linked.

#21 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-10-04 12:47 PM | Reply

#18 - Jeff

Looking at voting data the Chicago area should have yielded a couple more Republican seats for proportional representation, at least 2, maybe even a 3rd.

I wouldn't be opposed to switching to a census block system that calculates only population and doesn't account for voter identity. Adjust it every 10 years via a computer calculation using only population size of census blocks and no other data.

#22 | Posted by gavaster at 2017-10-04 12:54 PM | Reply

I also tabulated the votes for Trump/Hillary versus House of Representative members by vote count and the representation is dead on in Illinoise and Wisconsin. If you switch 1 house of representative's party affiliation you under-represent the party that won the most overall votes for Trump/Hillary. At least in these two states, representation in Congress is almost 100% representative of the state with the only possible issue being Illinois having two D's in the Senate with only 55% of the vote.

#23 | Posted by gavaster at 2017-10-04 01:09 PM | Reply

In a nutshell, Democrats are arguing that if they win 40% of the statewide popular vote they should win 40% of the seats and, if they don't, then it's the result of partisan gerrymandering.

I wouldn't expect electoral results to be that linear, but there shouldn't be situations where a party gets 40% of the vote and 15% of the representation.

Arguing otherwise puts you squarely in the party over country camp.

The district drawing procedure also shouldn't be a party picking their voters to ensure their seats are safe. That's crapping all over a large portion of the electorate.

#24 | Posted by jpw at 2017-10-04 03:36 PM | Reply

"Originalists and textualists such as Gorsuch, and his predecessor on the Court, Antonin Scalia, often criticize their colleagues for inventing rights that are not found in the nation's founding document."

WHICH is a yuuge joke in and of itself considering Scalia's NRA/Reagan era invention of the 2nd Amendment as an individual right....

"And so, eventually, this theory became the law of the land. In District of Columbia v. Heller, decided in 2008, the Supreme Court embraced the individual-rights view of the Second Amendment. It was a triumph above all for Justice Antonin Scalia, the author of the opinion, but it required him to craft a thoroughly political compromise."

www.newyorker.com

#25 | Posted by Corky at 2017-10-04 03:44 PM | Reply

#24 - JPW

I just did a brief analysis of the data for IL and WI. Based on party line voting and the balance of cross downline ballot votes being roughly equal, representation in Congress is 100% as it should be with only one senate seat being iffy.

#26 | Posted by gavaster at 2017-10-04 03:52 PM | Reply

The purpose of gerrymandering is to give more than one vote to each man in the favored district and less than one vote per each man in disfavored districts. The electoral college and the 3/5ths rule for black slaves, who could not vote, but provided more representatives to Southern States, similarly undermine the principle of equality under the law.

Computer model power coupled with gerrymandering has given outcome certainty to the party which controls the redistricting process. Schwarzenegger succeeded in removing the redistricting authority from the state legislature, making campaigns more competitive. One amazing benefit for California, since making this change, is Sacramento has been able to pass annual budgets and other legislation which had been frozen for decades.

#27 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-10-04 10:30 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

Originalists love to declare they are NOT hypocrites seeking to have everything their own way. Exhibit "A": read Federalist #46, and then read the Second Amendment and one will understand the true meaning and purpose of that amendment. Madison explains it quite well. But will originalists, who state that they try to construe the Constitution with the meaning its writers meant, ignore in so many cases the explanations provided by the document's writers--of course they will...

#28 | Posted by catdog at 2017-10-05 08:56 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

#8
Have you done any reading about this case?

#12 | POSTED BY JEFFJ

Yes, and as usual you don't have a clue what is going on.

The districts look somewhat normal. But they drawn specifically to put all the Democratic areas into as few districts as possible. How they look doesn't matter.

#29 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-10-05 10:42 AM | Reply

America won't be great as long as that scab insultingly sits on the court.

#30 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2017-10-05 12:09 PM | Reply

America won't be great as long as that scab insultingly sits on the court.

#30 | POSTED BY INDIANAJONES

I speak as a 100% union supporter and that's the perfect description of gorsuch

#31 | Posted by ABlock at 2017-10-05 12:44 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"That tired old hack is the poster child for a mandatory retirement age."

and that is why nobody listens to you. kept.

#32 | Posted by klifferd at 2017-10-05 03:23 PM | Reply

love me some notorious RBG but Sotomayor knocked it out of the park

asked the wisconsin attorney "how does gerrymandering benefit democracy"

#33 | Posted by ABlock at 2017-10-05 03:29 PM | Reply

Gorsuch is not as smart as he seems to think he is. In fact he is kind of dense.

#34 | Posted by moder8 at 2017-10-05 03:37 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

#34 | POSTED BY MODER8

republicans didn't want smart...pliable, predictable and affordable were their criteria

#35 | Posted by ABlock at 2017-10-05 03:43 PM | Reply

Originalism and textualism is nonsense and is a thin disguise used by Conservatives to prevent us from genuinely following the founders intent. No where is it written by the founders that this was how the Constitution was to be interpreted by future generations.

The founders were not dummies. They knew that society would evolve. They knew that the inevitable progress of society could bring about unforeseeable applications of some words. For example, "cruel and unusual" punishment. This is left up to each generation to determine what is "cruel and unusual". Or should we be restricted to only defining "cruel and unusual" based upon the mores and morals of the 1700s?

#36 | Posted by donnerboy at 2017-10-05 04:11 PM | Reply

"In a nutshell, Democrats are arguing that if they win 40% of the statewide popular vote they should win 40% of the seats and, if they don't, then it's the result of partisan gerrymandering."

Well, at the very least, I'm sure we can agree that if they don't, then Wisconsin is not a representative democracy.

#37 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-10-05 04:17 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#6 | POSTED BY JEFFJ

You hate democracy. Why?

#38 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2017-10-06 12:28 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#6 | POSTED BY JEFFJ
You hate democracy. Why?

#38 | POSTED BY INDIANAJONES AT 2017-10-06 12:28 PM |

Because conservatives don't have any ideas that can get majority support

#39 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2017-10-06 04:17 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

^^^^This! NW!

#40 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2017-10-06 08:39 PM | Reply

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