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View Diary: What nobody is addressing about the Electoral Vote-rigging scheme (180 comments)

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  •  There was a diary here yesterday that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adam B, Dave in Northridge, caul

    discussed about the 15th amendment:

    I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by cyeko on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:18:13 AM PST

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    •  And, the Gerrymandering (2+ / 0-)
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      caul, happy camper

      redistricting that violates it...and should not be allowed under the constitution.  Correct?

      I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by cyeko on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:19:46 AM PST

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      •  No court has ever said redistricting (6+ / 0-)

        in and of itself is unconstitutional. Districts merely need to be of about equal size. In other words, you couldn't draw a congressional district that is 10 million people and another that is 10K people and it be legal.

        Apportioning votes by congressional district does not deny anyone the right to vote, for any reason at all.

        •  But it weakens their vote... (2+ / 0-)
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          pierre9045, mrkvica

          and I think it's a court case that needs to be heard.

          Just my opinion...

          I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. Martin Luther King, Jr.

          by cyeko on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:16:56 AM PST

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        •  Not true at all. At all. (4+ / 0-)

          First, just because the states can do something, the means chosen must comply with other parts of the constitution.  Virginia could not pass a law saying that presidential electors shall be chosen by the votes of 100 random white voters, for instance.  That plainly violates equal protection.  The one-person, one-vote principle is likewise required by the Constitution.

          Further, it can be violated by a political gerrymander.  The Supreme Court has, to this point, washed its hands of equal protection claims to congressional gerrymandering based on political grounds because there is no way for a court to draw "fair" districts.  Read Vieth v. Jubelirer, 541 U.S. 267 (2004).  It involves a claim that Pennsylvania's political gerrymandering of congressional districts to favor Republican voters, and whether that violates equal protection.  

          In that case, everyone--even the conservatives--agreed that “partisan gerrymanders [are incompatible] with democratic principles.”  But a four-justice plurality found that the issue was always non-justiciable (i.e., that there was no way for judges to decide what the constitution required as "fair" district lines, no standards for judges to draw "fair" lines, etc.).  Kennedy agreed with respect to the Pennsylvania plan at issue, and was the fifth vote to find Pennsylvania's plan was ok.

          However, Kennedy did not foreclose the possibility that other political gerrymanders could both violate equal protection and be justiciable.  And the four liberals at the time clearly agreed with that, at a minimum.  (It was Stevens, Souter, Breyer, and Ginsberg.)  

          I think that the presidential elector plans being pushed here go one step beyond, and violate one-person, one-vote principles.   In Breyer's dissent, he stated that "use of purely political boundary-drawing factors can amount to a serious, and remediable, abuse, namely the unjustified use of political factors to entrench a minority in power."  Kennedy himself indicated that he agreed; that political gerrymandering would violate EP if the law used "though generally permissible [political line drawing], were applied in an invidious manner or in a way unrelated to any legitimate legislative objective."

          I think that there's a good argument that a demographically dying political party, explicitly changing the rules to give Republicans a lock on the White House with a huge minority of the statewide vote very nicely qualifies.  Moreover, at the presidential level, this violation is easily justiciable.  There is no problem of drawing "fair" borders for congressional districts that select electors.  Merely striking the new law down as unconstitutional, and returning to the old system, would be a complete remedy that is plainly a one-person, one-vote standard.

          To sum up, yes, the states get to choose how to apportion electors.  And true, states do not even have to allow a popular vote for president.  BUT IF THEY DO, then the Equal Protection clause requires it to be a one-person, one-vote plan.  It cannot deprive certain citizens of the equal opportunity to elect a president.

          •  Edit the penultimate paragraph to say (0+ / 0-)

            "with a huge majority of the statewide vote going the other way, very nicely qualifies."

            I should have made this a diary...

          •  Thank you for this insight, very informative n/t (0+ / 0-)
          •  One-person one-vote (0+ / 0-)

            is not at all guaranteed by the constitution, as shown by the fact that we've got an electoral college.

            And given that the gerrymandered districts are already held to account by the standards that people will say disenfranchise people it follows that the GOP scheme would pass constitutional muster is the EV passes muster.

          •  Thank you for a clear post. I find that if a gerry (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            mander is done to give the loser of the popular vote a win then it takes away the one person-one vote ideal. We should be working towards the ideal and not kissing the asses of those who are less in voting strength. Else why not reduce it to giving the smallest minorities the power to take the elections through gamesmanship.

            How would Americans reacted to not only vote blocking games if added to a majority vote losing to the nuttiest most fringe groups. I would hope they would fight it tooth and nail. I know that there are many who find the average voter to be apathetic and stupid but I really trust those who don't have other personal issues or a need to feed on others. If only a percentage of the PBO lead fought it the republicans would dig the hole they are in deeper. The national opinion of republicans amongst urban and younger people is already pretty low and this stunt would gain them little that could not be undone... So it is a stupid stopgap repsonde to thier crappy ideas losing followers.

            It is like Jindel wanting to get rid of thier state income tax and raise the sales tax on the poor... Does Dumbo think that he can block the poors vote? In fact, I am going to start calling regressive republicans Dumbo in honor of the elephant symbol. Dumbo wants to rig the economy to benefit the richest yet that will kill the economy because people who barely survive would not be buying much and even middle class people would change how they spend. Dumbos!

            Fear is the Mind Killer...

            by boophus on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:12:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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