Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, January 22, 2018

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the state's congressional map went so far to benefit Republicans that it "clearly, plainly and palpably" violated the state constitution. The court, where Democrats have a 5-2 majority, blocked the use of the map in the 2018 midterm elections, ordered state lawmakers to begin to draw a new map. The suit against the congressional map, which only challenged it under Pennsylvania's state constitution, was one of the most watched voting rights cases in the country. The ruling could encourage groups to bring similar challenges against congressional gerrymandering cases in other states and bypass a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court, which is currently considering two cases dealing with partisan gerrymandering.

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Pennsylvania has been described as one of the worst gerrymandered states in the country, and analyses have found the map is responsible for at least three additional GOP seats in Congress. Republicans controlled the redistricting process in 2010 and drew the map to give them a considerable advantage. In the 2012, 2014 and 2016 elections they won 13 of the state's 18 congressional seats, despite just winning about 50 percent of the vote.

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Blue Wave, unless Trump cancels the elections.

#1 | Posted by Zed at 2018-01-22 04:41 PM | Reply

If you take the EC away from Trumpublicans, they got nothing.

#2 | Posted by ClownShack at 2018-01-22 04:44 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

This is why the GOP has been winning so many seats across the country:

Judges Find Wisconsin Redistricting Unfairly Favored Republicans

Their lawsuit said that in the 2012 elections for the Assembly, Wisconsin Republicans won 48.6 percent of the two-party vote but took 61 percent of the Assembly's 99 seats.

www.nytimes.com

This WI case is now before the SC:

How a Wisconsin Case Before Justices Could Reshape Redistricting

How egregiously can a majority party gerrymander a political map before it violates the Constitution?

The Supreme Court has tried to answer that question for 30 years. On Tuesday, it will try again, hearing arguments in a case involving the Wisconsin State Assembly that could remake an American political landscape rived by polarization and increasingly fenced off for partisan advantage.

www.nytimes.com

So much is riding on this cases and a Judge Gorsuch rather than a Judge Garland could make all the difference.

#3 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2018-01-22 04:58 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

So it's partisan and constitutional.

It can wait until after the elections so the Republicans can truly represent the "forgotten Americans".

#4 | Posted by donnerboy at 2018-01-22 05:22 PM | Reply

So it's partisan and UNconstitutional...

#5 | Posted by donnerboy at 2018-01-22 05:23 PM | Reply

"Best democracy money can buy!"

#6 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-22 05:48 PM | Reply

Ari Berman‏ @AriBerman
State & federal courts have now ruled against GOP gerrymandering in PA, WI, NC, TX, FL, AL & VA

Ari Berman‏ @AriBerman
Legal groups tell Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that Trump's reported pick to run 2020 Census - an expert in GOP gerrymandering - "would raise serious legal concerns."
www.law.georgetown.edu

Trump's Pick to Run 2020 Census Has Defended Racial Gerrymandering and Voter Suppression Laws
The census will determine redistricting and voting rights enforcement.
www.motherjones.com

#7 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2018-01-23 12:46 AM | Reply

I can't say it enough:

Republicans are scum.

#8 | Posted by jpw at 2018-01-23 12:52 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

JPW

Republicans are frightened scum. They know they can't win on their policy positions (or their track record) so the only thing left to do is to cheat. You gotta admit, they've turned it into a science by attacking honest elections from all directions.

(Shade of Tom DeLay - LOL)

Now it's the Koch brothers and others of their kind who are concentrating their enormous wealth on keeping it that way.


#9 | Posted by Twinpac at 2018-01-23 03:39 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I can't say it enough:

What, that partisan gerrymandering is baked into the constitution? That this is a surprise to only the politically naive? What, besides stupid name calling? Do go on. Say it.

#10 | Posted by et_al at 2018-01-23 04:32 AM | Reply

"Now it's the Koch brothers and others of their kind who are concentrating their enormous wealth on keeping it that way. "

And again, it all comes down to a partisan and corrupt Supreme Court.

#11 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-23 08:52 AM | Reply

"What, besides stupid name calling? "

Come on now.....if it weren't for that, some folks here wouldn't have anything to say.

#12 | Posted by eberly at 2018-01-23 09:02 AM | Reply

It keeps on getting worse:

Courts Keep Thwarting North Carolina Republicans. So They're Trying to Remake the Courts.

Republicans in the state legislature have unveiled a radical plan to transform the judiciary.

Courts have overturned 14 laws passed by the legislature since 2011, including redistricting maps for the House of Representatives and the state legislature that one federal court called "among the largest racial gerrymanders ever encountered by a federal court." Sweeping voting restrictions passed by the legislature in 2013 suffered a similar fate, with a federal appeals court saying they targeted "African Americans with almost surgical precision." The legislature's Republican supermajority hasn't fared any better in state courts, which have blocked GOP efforts to strip teachers of tenure and to prevent the state's Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, from appointing a majority of commissioners on state and local boards of elections.

Now the legislature has embarked on an unprecedented plan to transform the state's courts by gerrymandering judicial maps to elect more Republican judges, preventing Cooper from making key judicial appointments, and seeking to get rid of judicial elections altogether. Cooper calls it an attempt to "rig the system."

www.motherjones.com

We have to stop them now, folks. If we don't vote these people out, we may never again get the chance to do so.

#13 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2018-01-23 10:25 AM | Reply

#10 | Posted by et_al

In Davis v. Bandemer (1986), the Supreme Court held that partisan gerrymandering violated the Equal Protection Clause. The issue there is the court could not agree on the appropriate constitutional standard against which legal claims of partisan gerrymandering should be evaluated. That's a problem and has brought us to today. Here's the thing to understand about the 2010 redistricting in Republican controlled states. They used big data and deep analysis to create districts that ensured their control or in many cases overwhelming super majority control of state government and US House seats. It amounts to highly sophisticated partisan gerrymandering. It isn't talked about enough probably because you have to have some significant higher math to understand it. I know in Michigan there is an effort under way to get a ballot measure on the record for a non-partisan board to be in charge of redistricting in the future. That is the way it ideally should be.

The results of gerrymandering that happened in Michigan are obvious. It is a joke to say it wasn't. I look at Texas as another easily observed example. From one election to the next it turned into outright Republican domination of state government. We are another state that has lawsuits going. The thing is it took 8 years and we still don't have any decision. I don't understand why these cases took so long to make it to court.

#14 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2018-01-23 10:58 AM | Reply

#13 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday

And one of the primary architects and defenders is up for a Federal Judgeship. You just can't make this up if you tried. The US is rapidly turning into take your pick - Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany.

#15 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2018-01-23 11:09 AM | Reply

Blue Wave, unless Trump cancels the elections.

#1 | POSTED BY ZED

Even after finding ways to lose hundreds of seats over the last decade, Democrats are nothing if not overconfident.

#16 | Posted by Whatsleft at 2018-01-23 11:15 AM | Reply

We have to stop them now, folks. If we don't vote these people out, we may never again get the chance to do so.

#13 | POSTED BY GAL_TUESDAY

There's a pretty fair chance that it's already too late.

#17 | Posted by Whatsleft at 2018-01-23 11:17 AM | Reply

#14

See Vieth v. Jubelirer which implicitly overturned Bandemer. That gets us to Gill v. Whitford, argued a week or so ago with a decision expected sometime before the end of the term.

Issues: (1) Whether the district court violated Vieth v. Jubelirer when it held that it had the authority to entertain a statewide challenge to Wisconsin's redistricting plan, instead of requiring a district-by-district analysis; (2) whether the district court violated Vieth when it held that Wisconsin's redistricting plan was an impermissible partisan gerrymander, even though it was undisputed that the plan complies with traditional redistricting principles; (3) whether the district court violated Vieth by adopting a watered-down version of the partisan-gerrymandering test employed by the plurality in Davis v. Bandemer; (4) whether the defendants are entitled, at a minimum, to present additional evidence showing that they would have prevailed under the district court's test, which the court announced only after the record had closed; and (5) whether partisan-gerrymandering claims are justiciable.
See 5, that has to do with the "political question doctrine" i.e. the constitution commits redistricting to the state legislatures, inherently political institutions, and it ain't for courts to decide political matters.

#18 | Posted by et_al at 2018-01-23 11:27 AM | Reply

What, that partisan gerrymandering is baked into the constitution? That this is a surprise to only the politically naive?

I didn't say I was surprised by it.

Nor does the process being Constitutionally mandated mean it has to be to the extremes we have now.

What, besides stupid name calling? Do go on. Say it.

Try not being so myopic as "duh...it says so in da Constitution...duhhh".

#19 | Posted by jpw at 2018-01-23 05:00 PM | Reply

#14
See Vieth v. Jubelirer which implicitly overturned Bandemer. That gets us to Gill v. Whitford, argued a week or so ago with a decision expected sometime before the end of the term.

Issues: (1) Whether the district court violated Vieth v. Jubelirer when it held that it had the authority to entertain a statewide challenge to Wisconsin's redistricting plan, instead of requiring a district-by-district analysis; (2) whether the district court violated Vieth when it held that Wisconsin's redistricting plan was an impermissible partisan gerrymander, even though it was undisputed that the plan complies with traditional redistricting principles; (3) whether the district court violated Vieth by adopting a watered-down version of the partisan-gerrymandering test employed by the plurality in Davis v. Bandemer; (4) whether the defendants are entitled, at a minimum, to present additional evidence showing that they would have prevailed under the district court's test, which the court announced only after the record had closed; and (5) whether partisan-gerrymandering claims are justiciable.
See 5, that has to do with the "political question doctrine" i.e. the constitution commits redistricting to the state legislatures, inherently political institutions, and it ain't for courts to decide political matters.
#18 | POSTED BY ET_AL

I hate to tell you are wrong, but you aren't even close to what the Court said in Vieth v. Jubelirer.

The claim of political gerrymandering in congressional redistricting plan was nonjusticiable, because there were no judicially discernible and manageable standards for adjudicating such a claim. NOT because it was an inherently political question that ain't for the Court's to decide.

"There are, then, weighty arguments for holding cases like these to be nonjusticiable. However, they are not so compelling that they require the Court now to bar all future partisan gerrymandering claims. Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186, 82 S.Ct. 691, 7 L.Ed.2d 663, makes clear that the more abstract standards that guide analysis of all Fourteenth Amendment claims suffice to ensure justiciability of claims like these."

Vieth v. Jubelirer, 541 U.S. 267, 270 (2004)

In fact, the Court left open the possibility of a First Amendment challenge that was not brought up in Vieth.

"While the equal protection standard continues to govern such cases, the First Amendment may prove to offer a sounder and more prudential basis for judicial intervention in political gerrymandering cases. First Amendment analysis does not dwell on whether a generally permissible classification has been used for an impermissible purpose, but concentrates on whether the legislation burdens the representational rights of the complaining party's voters for reasons of ideology, beliefs, or political association. That analysis allows a pragmatic or functional assessment that accords some latitude to the States. See, e.g., Eu v. San Francisco County Democratic Central Comm., 489 U.S. 214, 109 S.Ct. 1013, 103 L.Ed.2d 271. Pp. 1792–1798."

Vieth v. Jubelirer, 541 U.S. 267, 270 (2004)

#20 | Posted by Sycophant at 2018-01-23 07:03 PM | Reply

I can't say it enough: Republicans are scum.

I'll pick up the slack: Republicans are scum

#21 | Posted by FedUpWithPols at 2018-01-24 05:51 AM | Reply

"I'll pick up the slack: Republicans are scum"

Republican politicians and funders are scum but the majority of Republicans are idiots who are easily led by snake oil salesmen like Hannity, Limbaugh, etc.

#22 | Posted by danni at 2018-01-24 11:53 AM | Reply

#22 yes I mean the politicians when I say that.

Maybe I'll change it to "the GOP is scum".

#23 | Posted by jpw at 2018-01-24 05:43 PM | Reply

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