gerrymandering

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At Smirking Chimp, Harvey Wasserman asks, Is SCOTUS to give Trump another term by approving GOP voter suppression? and suggests that "The US Supreme Court may be about to make a second Trump term inevitable."

The nine "Justices" have just heard oral arguments in an Ohio voter registration case. If their decision goes with Secretary of State Jon Husted, it would mean Republicans like him throughout the United States will be able to scrub from the voter rolls millions of citizens merely because they are suspected of wishing to vote Democrat.

In Ohio alone, millions of Ohio voters have tried to vote on Election Day over the past four presidential elections, only to find their names were erased from the pollbooks.

What's technically at stake is whether the federal government has the right to demand fairness in purging voter registration rolls. Or will the secretaries of the various states be free to purge whomever they want.

In other words, it's supposedly a "state's rights" case.

The history of this particular case is worth reviewing:

In 2004, then-Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, stripped some 309,000 voters from the rolls and nearly all came from heavily Democratic cities - Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo. In Cleveland, nearly a quarter, 24.96% of all voters were removed from the voting rolls.

Blackwell simultaneously served as co-chair for the state campaign to re-elect Bush/Cheney. Despite the obvious conflict of interest, Blackwell was officially in charge of running that election. The election was decided by less than 119,000 votes, giving George W. Bush a victory over John Kerry, who never said a word.

"In other words," Wasserman continues, "America's Trump-run FBI/KGB/Savak apparatus may now have the power to silently and invisibly remove enough potential voters to elect and re-elect whoever it wants:"

This and much else could turn on the Supremes' decision on the Ohio case. Should Husted's right to purge whoever he wants from the voter rolls be confirmed by the Court, our sham elections will become an even bigger charade.

ThinkProgress and Politico report that the PA Supreme Court issued an anti-gerrymander ruling, which could remove the GOP's other favorite anti-voter tool from future use. The case, League of Women Voters v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is also discussed by Politico's Steven Shepard:

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that the state's congressional map "clearly, plainly and palpably violates" the state constitution and must be redrawn in the next three weeks after Democrats sued to allege Republicans unreasonably gerrymandered the districts to give the GOP a partisan advantage.

The court ruled a new map must be submitted to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf by Feb. 9. That map "shall consist of: congressional districts composed of compact and contiguous territory; as nearly equal in population as practicable; and which do not divide any county, city, incorporated town, borough, township, or ward, except where necessary to ensure equality of population," according to the court ruling.

ThinkProgress' Ian Millhiser writes that "the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that that state's gerrymandered congressional maps violate the state constitution:"

That state's map is so aggressively gerrymandered that Republicans won 13 of the state's 18 congressional districts in 2012, despite the fact that Democrats won a majority of the popular vote -- and Republicans have held those districts ever since. [...]

Under the state supreme court's order, the state legislature must submit new maps to the governor by February 9, and the governor has until February 15 to approve the maps and submit them to the court for review. If these deadlines are not met, "this Court shall proceed expeditiously to adopt a plan based on the evidentiary record developed in the Commonwealth Court." [...]

Monday's decision moves Pennsylvania towards a much fairer electoral system, and will remove several bricks in the red wall Republicans build in the House of Representatives through gerrymandering.

It is quite revelatory how, for some elected officials, naked partisanship trumps the intent of a majority of voters.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on January 22, 2018 2:23 PM.

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