CommunityMy FDL

One Supreme Court seat turns it all around.

Assume, arguendo, that the Dems hold the Senate in 2014.


As now, the House remains, by virtue of crass gerrymander, out of reach of democratic pressure, with no visible hope of redress until the 2020 redistricting, if then.


Must we accept, then, utter and complete stagnation until the congress elected in November 2020 is organized in January 2021?  That is seven more lost years.


Perhaps there is another scenario.


It cannot be lost upon any fair minded observer that the guarantee to each state of "a republican form of government" (Article IV, section 4) is reduced to a mockery when games are played to draw legislative districts designed to favor one party over the other.


Yet, despite the peg of a constitutional mandate upon which to hang an attack on the gerrymander, the Federal Courts have been loath to apply any serious scrutiny to the  practice.


So loath, in fact, that of the two significant decisions touching upon the unfairness which results when the votes of one citizen count for more or less than the votes of another, one is couched in extremely narrow terms, and the other is explicitly declared to be useless as precedent.  In short, the courts have refused to consider the question of equal protection as a standard for the constitutional evaluation of state voting and districting practices.


I refer in the first case to Baker v. Carr (one person, one vote) and in the latter to Bush v. Gore.


I offer for consideration the following scenario.


If one of the current five Republican justices could be replaced by an Obama appointment, a case could be brought and won using as precedents the two cases cited above (notwithstanding the limiting language in Bush v. Gore) ,arguing the mandate of equally protecting the votes of urban and rural individuals, so as to force a wholesale redistricting of the House of Representatives which would vindicate the popular majority of 1.5 million that Democratic candidates received over Republicans in the most recent election. 


Moreover, the myriad games that are currently permitted vis-a-vis the times of operation and location of polling places, the requirements for registration, and the standards for purging voting roles would fall before the nationalization of all elections and the imposition of uniform standards throughout the country.



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