Last week, the United States Supreme Court dealt a blow to Democrats’ efforts to end Gerrymandering practices that they claim help Republicans win elections throughout the states.
In April, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Republicans in the Michigan State Legislature unfairly drew congressional and state districts that gave an advantage to Republican candidates who ran for office.
Michigan was also forced to hold a special election for the state senate in 2020, which was to take place two years before the next state senate election.
A state voter referendum passed in 2018 that would take redistricting power away from the state legislature and put it in the hands of an independent commission comprised of four Republicans, four Democrats, and five independent members.
This court ruling was the second victory for Republicans in Gerrymandering cases this year following an earlier case this year in which the United States Supreme Court ruled that redistricting is a legislative process, not a judicial one.
MLIVE reported that “The Supreme Court’s conservative majority issued a 5-4 decision on North Carolina and Maryland cases Thursday, ruling federal judges have no role in determining when political maps unfairly benefit one political party. The ruling will likely overturn a lower court’s order to redraw 34 of Michigan’s state legislative and congressional maps in time for 2020 elections.”
The legal rationale made by Democrats is based on a false understanding of the 1st and 14th Amendments.
The 14th Amendment was ratified following the Civil War to make certain that former slaves received the same constitutional protections as white people.
No one is being prevented from voting in the state of Michigan. Just because districts are drawn with more Republicans than Democrats doesn’t mean that the Democrats can’t vote.
A person’s political party affiliation is not the same as their race or gender. No one is denying the Democrats in those districts the right to vote. If the Democrats want to win elections, they should run good campaigns and candidates and win the old fashioned way—at the ballot box.
The argument made in regards to the “right to associate” is completely bogus.
The Michigan Legislature didn’t deny any Democrat the right to join the Democrat Party. They can join together and protest at the capitol if they want—no one is stopping them.
The true intent of the 1st Amendment right to association is to protect those activities.
It doesn’t have anything to do with drawing districts to favor one party over another.
In April, the circuit court judges wrote that “Federal courts must not abdicate their responsibility to protect American voters from this unconstitutional and pernicious practice that undermines our democracy…failing to protect voters’ rights will only decrease the citizenry’s growing disenchantment with, and disillusionment in, our democracy.”
That was clearly a political statement, not a statement of law.
The judges were opining about public sentiment, that is not their obligation. Taking public sentiment into account is the role of elected representatives, not those in the judicial branch.
The United States Supreme Court agrees and made the correct decision in their ruling.