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View Diary: Updated: Public Relations and the Electoral College Scam (147 comments)

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  •  question: (0+ / 0-)

    we already have a couple of states doing this already (Maine and one other (Nebraska? or Kansas?)) any case, here's a question: is it Constitutional to have states doing this differently? It seems to me patently unfair to have some states divvy up electoral votes by gerrymandered Congressional districts (the states that do this now are not really all that gerrmandered in that there's very little gerrymandering that can be done in small states like this, compared to larger ones, raising the issue of...unfairly disenfranchising voters).

    It seems to me that if Republicans go "all in" on this attempt to gerrmander their way to the White House that, not only could/should that result in a backlash for its blatantly unfair attempt to steal the White House (if the Democrats were to frame this issue correctly, that is), but it seems to me that this raises a lot of issues as far as equal voting rights, even Civil Rights in those states where Republicans have already done everything they can to try to diminish the impact of minority voters as much as Civil Rights laws allow them to). It seems to me that this would open up an entire new line of attack by Democrats: that the Republicans are deliberately attempting to disenfranchise voters, especially minority and other voters they don't like.

    If Democrats can approach this matter the same way they did last fall regarding blatant attempts by Republicans to put the fix in for their candidate in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania....then...Democrats can actually turn this to their advantage and press the case for one national standard that all states must follow.

    •  It's explicitly Constitutional (7+ / 0-)

      That document spells out that each state can determine how to allocate it's electoral votes.

      Gerrymandering districts to slant presidential outcomes could be challenged on 14th amendment grounds. The question would be whether the broad right of states to set up their own systems trumps the 14th amendment right to equal protection.

      In ordinary times you'd think the 14th amendment would win. But with Scalia considered a deep thinker on this court, who knows.

      •  speaking of "deep thinking" conservatives... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Red Bean, MrJersey

        ...that was always my impression with William F. Buckley...if it weren't for his bizzarre twitches, tics and extremely strange gestures and expressions...none of his actual ideas would pass the intellectual "smell test." He was like the penultimate pretend intellectual to me...more focused on creating the image and illusion of being a genius than...actually demonstrating any. His basic ideas were really quite pedestrian...more power to his brethren...those who already have it...(just like Scalia, although Scalia's much more low key, as far as his lack of bizarre impersonations of what a conservative "intellectual" might be).

        •  oh, and, by the way... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Red Bean

          ...thanks for the seems to me that Democrats should be going all out with the 14th amendment well as any Civil Rights arguments that have any foundation (it seems to me that the case that Republicans' attempts to diminish minority voting rights in larger states where gerrymandering is rampant (i.e. Pennsylvania, for instance) would have the potential to carry much more weight there than in places like Maine...

          •  I found this blog entry (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            by a law professor which describes the confused state of gerrymandering precedent in the Supreme Court.

            This is his conclusion:

            With no Supreme Court standard, partisan gerrymandering is all but certain to proceed apace in the current redistricting cycle. And Kennedy’s hesitancy appears likely to steer the Court’s course in any subsequent challenges. Tellingly, Kennedy had no such difficulty in fashioning a rule against racial gerrymanders. Kennedy spoke for the Court in Miller v. Johnson (1995) in holding that a district map was unconstitutional if race was “the predominant factor” in the design. Evidence of lawmakers’ intent could be inferred, Kennedy said, from a district’s departure from “traditional” principles, including “compactness” and “contiguity.”
                  A workable standard to judge gerrymandering cases is not beyond the Supreme Court’s ability if the justices only had the will. With the Court on the sidelines, however, redistricting fights will again be waged according to the law of the political jungle and the constitutional goal of fair representation shortchanged for another decade.

            The take is that the right wants to allow gerrymandering to go on without interference, the left wants to control it but doesn't offer a consistent standard and Kennedy, as always, gets to decide.

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