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Thread: Gerrymandering

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    Default Gerrymandering

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    Last edited by Montmorency; 07-04-2019 at 19:17.
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    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    And it's going to get a whole lot worse.... my prediciton is that there will be a permanently entrenched ruling minority in the USA on the heels of this:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/27/u...mandering.html
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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Corleone View Post
    And it's going to get a whole lot worse.... my prediciton is that there will be a permanently entrenched ruling minority in the USA on the heels of this:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/27/u...mandering.html
    Hmmm - I think the Supreme Court is probably correct here. Whilst the state Legislatures should act in the interests of the State and States in this matter I don't think the courts should be able to decide how elections are managed. If you want impartiality it needs to be written into the Constitution.
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    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    Hmmm - I think the Supreme Court is probably correct here. Whilst the state Legislatures should act in the interests of the State and States in this matter I don't think the courts should be able to decide how elections are managed. If you want impartiality it needs to be written into the Constitution.
    You seem to be making a technical argument, and from a technical standpoint, you are correct. However, it condemns my country's experiments in Democracy to a rapid demise. Once Montmercy's chart slides to the 34 state legislature tally point, all hell is going to break loose as the GOP enshrines itself as a one-party permanent ruler... either directly or indirectly. They will modify the constitution to ensure every election aftewards is decided in their favor. Just look at what Mitch McConnel has been able to accomplish over the past 9 years without that power.

    America's lurch into a false-Christian autrocratic theocracy will greatly accelerate on the heels of this.
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
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    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Corleone View Post
    You seem to be making a technical argument, and from a technical standpoint, you are correct. However, it condemns my country's experiments in Democracy to a rapid demise. Once Montmercy's chart slides to the 34 state legislature tally point, all hell is going to break loose as the GOP enshrines itself as a one-party permanent ruler... either directly or indirectly. They will modify the constitution to ensure every election aftewards is decided in their favor. Just look at what Mitch McConnel has been able to accomplish over the past 9 years without that power.

    America's lurch into a false-Christian autrocratic theocracy will greatly accelerate on the heels of this.
    Technical arguments are important. It can be argued that the tendency of the Supreme Court to "over-interpret" the Constitution in the past is what has led you to this point.

    The judiciary need to be a-political or the average American cannot be expected to have any faith in them. If you're expecting your Supreme Court to wilfully misinterpret your Constitution to protect you from your democratically elected legislature then, well, things have already gone far to far, haven't they?
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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    It seems to be that the "right" in all its multitude of forms is prepared to work together (how the Christian Right deal with working with Trump defeats me) to defeat the "left" which is much more focused on absolute principles than being in power.

    So, it seems that although the majority might be against Trump and what he stands for their unwillingness to work together is going to be a problem - AOC and her band of 4 will fight the rest of the Democrats rather than as they view it compromise.

    The "right" are happily stuffing the judiciary, moving boundaries and optimising voter disenfranchisement whilst it seems the Democrats are sticking to their principles. The only thing that might work against this is the demographic shift.

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    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    It seems to be that the "right" in all its multitude of forms is prepared to work together (how the Christian Right deal with working with Trump defeats me) to defeat the "left" which is much more focused on absolute principles than being in power.

    So, it seems that although the majority might be against Trump and what he stands for their unwillingness to work together is going to be a problem - AOC and her band of 4 will fight the rest of the Democrats rather than as they view it compromise.

    The "right" are happily stuffing the judiciary, moving boundaries and optimising voter disenfranchisement whilst it seems the Democrats are sticking to their principles. The only thing that might work against this is the demographic shift.

    That's a good start boss, but you're missing the end goal. The entire point of gerrymandering (and voter disenfranchisement, as practiced so audaciously by Brian Kemp here in Georgia in 2018), is to counteract the effects of demographics. The whole point is that the 35% remain immune to the effects of the majority, staying in power regardless of the odds against them.

    The rallying cry on the Trump-right right now betrays their thinking on this "The United States never was, and was never intended to be, a Democracy". Implied in that is that government by and for the 35% who support Trump is ordained in our Constitution.
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
    Don Vito Corleone: The Godfather, Part 1.

    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    Hmmm - I think the Supreme Court is probably correct here. Whilst the state Legislatures should act in the interests of the State and States in this matter I don't think the courts should be able to decide how elections are managed. If you want impartiality it needs to be written into the Constitution.
    What is your Constitutional argument for believing that attempts to disenfranchise populations and undermine the integrity of the vote are non-justiciable at the federal level? Which was basically Chief Roberts' core holding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    Technical arguments are important. It can be argued that the tendency of the Supreme Court to "over-interpret" the Constitution in the past is what has led you to this point.

    The judiciary need to be a-political or the average American cannot be expected to have any faith in them. If you're expecting your Supreme Court to wilfully misinterpret your Constitution to protect you from your democratically elected legislature then, well, things have already gone far to far, haven't they?
    *sigh*

    It's the other way around, and that horse is a wild animal, what were you thinking trying to mount it. The courts are routinely partisan in willfully misinterpreting the Constitution* to suit their ideological precepts - typically toward the Right - and it's as well-established as apple pie in America.

    *More commonly just legislation I believe, because the Supreme Court is the final appeals court, not merely a constitutional court.

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    It seems to be that the "right" in all its multitude of forms is prepared to work together (how the Christian Right deal with working with Trump defeats me) to defeat the "left" which is much more focused on absolute principles than being in power.

    So, it seems that although the majority might be against Trump and what he stands for their unwillingness to work together is going to be a problem - AOC and her band of 4 will fight the rest of the Democrats rather than as they view it compromise.

    The "right" are happily stuffing the judiciary, moving boundaries and optimising voter disenfranchisement whilst it seems the Democrats are sticking to their principles. The only thing that might work against this is the demographic shift.

    You're attributing blame to the wrong place - the Democratic Party is experiencing a revolt by its most conservative dozen or two dozen Reps - and the wrong concept - compromise is not the deficit, deliberate Reagan-over-the-shoulder assimilationism toward Republican priorities is. The left wing of the Dem party is exactly the one increasingly-vocally expressing the need for procedural radicalism in countering Republican illegitimacy.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 07-16-2019 at 18:38.
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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Corleone View Post
    Implied in that is that government by and for the 35% who support Trump is ordained in our Constitution.
    One notes that, in fact, this is probably the case - remember that the US as originally constituted considered most of its non-white residents to be non-citizens and even non-people.

    The theory of the Separation of Powers (Central to the US Constitution) implies that if the districts were not meant to be gerrymandered then the role of defining them would have been given to another branch than the Legislature, such as a commission appointed by the Executive.

    One also notes that the US Constitution theorises the inevitable collapse of the Republic, which is why the several States have their own militarises.

    I realise this is of little comfort but the point remains the same - people elected the ones doing the gerrymandering on less gerrymandered districts. People elected Trump - even though Hilary got more votes overall Trump clearly carried the plurality to States. The more the Courts abuse the Constitution the less it is worth, in principle and in fact. If the principles underlying the Constitution become devalued then the Republic collapses.

    Remember, though, Rome is always falling.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    One notes that, in fact, this is probably the case - remember that the US as originally constituted considered most of its non-white residents to be non-citizens and even non-people.

    The theory of the Separation of Powers (Central to the US Constitution) implies that if the districts were not meant to be gerrymandered then the role of defining them would have been given to another branch than the Legislature, such as a commission appointed by the Executive.

    One also notes that the US Constitution theorises the inevitable collapse of the Republic, which is why the several States have their own militarises.

    I realise this is of little comfort but the point remains the same - people elected the ones doing the gerrymandering on less gerrymandered districts. People elected Trump - even though Hilary got more votes overall Trump clearly carried the plurality to States. The more the Courts abuse the Constitution the less it is worth, in principle and in fact. If the principles underlying the Constitution become devalued then the Republic collapses.

    Remember, though, Rome is always falling.
    That horse is a wild animal, you can't saddle it, let alone stable it.

    Now check out the amendments to the Constitution.
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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    That horse is a wild animal, you can't saddle it, let alone stable it.

    Now check out the amendments to the Constitution.
    Like the Second Amendment that everybody always takes out of context and misinterprets?
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    Like the Second Amendment that everybody always takes out of context and misinterprets?
    OK, huh? I'm not sure what you mean. How about we get down to brass tacks: I'm doubt you have well-founded theories of what the Constitution says or entails. Since we're talking about a specific decision on a particular political controversy, to develop a position here about the implications or legal reasoning underlying the Court's decision, read and make reference to Robert's decision, Kagan's dissent, or case analysis.

    Otherwise it's just "Englishman Passionate Defender of What He Imagines Lost Colonies' Constitution to Be"
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    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Corleone View Post
    And it's going to get a whole lot worse.... my prediciton is that there will be a permanently entrenched ruling minority in the USA on the heels of this:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/27/u...mandering.html
    Maybe not a ruling minority, but certainly a minority with power disproportionate to its numbers.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

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    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    One notes that, in fact, this is probably the case - remember that the US as originally constituted considered most of its non-white residents to be non-citizens and even non-people.
    'Non people' is over-stating things. Amerinds who were taxpayers were full citizens. Those enslaved were .6 people. That definition is my nation's "original sin," but with 40+ percent of the population in slave-holding states, the original 13 could never have established a nation without compromise on this issue. And virtually no society gave the "distaff" any real status.

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    I realise this is of little comfort but the point remains the same - people elected the ones doing the gerrymandering on less gerrymandered districts. People elected Trump - even though Hilary got more votes overall Trump clearly carried the plurality to States. The more the Courts abuse the Constitution the less it is worth, in principle and in fact. If the principles underlying the Constitution become devalued then the Republic collapses.
    But that takes a LOT. Sulla Felix marched on Rome in 88 BCE, but it was not until 27 BCE that the republic truly ceased to exist. Nevertheless, your point is valid.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    'Non people' is over-stating things. Amerinds who were taxpayers were full citizens. Those enslaved were .6 people. That definition is my nation's "original sin," but with 40+ percent of the population in slave-holding states, the original 13 could never have established a nation without compromise on this issue. And virtually no society gave the "distaff" any real status.
    What about the "that's him" laws where whites in Southern states could effectively enslave blacks within line of sight?
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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    OK, huh? I'm not sure what you mean. How about we get down to brass tacks: I'm doubt you have well-founded theories of what the Constitution says or entails. Since we're talking about a specific decision on a particular political controversy, to develop a position here about the implications or legal reasoning underlying the Court's decision, read and make reference to Robert's decision, Kagan's dissent, or case analysis.

    Otherwise it's just "Englishman Passionate Defender of What He Imagines Lost Colonies' Constitution to Be"
    The original Bill of Rights:

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/aep/W...2/introduction

    Among the crimes of James II:

    Disarming Protestants, &c.

    By causing severall good Subjects being Protestants to be disarmed at the same time when Papists were both Armed and Imployed contrary to Law.
    The Right to bear arms:

    Subjects’ Arms.


    That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law.

    This is the enumerated "Right" in English Statute Law to which the Second Amendment refers in the Constitution. The reason that the Right is not enumerated in the Constitution itself is because the new United States took on all English Law, Common and Statute, when they gained independence.

    James II used illegal religiously-based militias to keep the majority Protestant population pacified towards the end of his reign. So, the "Right to bear Arms" is not an absolute right but a general right subject to the law, and subject to restriction under the law so long as such restriction is not used to oppress certain groups.

    The Bill of Rights also enumerates the need for a standing army to be authorised by Parliament, and not otherwise, and that's your "well regulated militia".

    I'll sit and read the judgements later but you should not assume that I am as ignorant of your Constitution as you believe - it was after all written by English lawyers.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    So you're describing how a Catholic king relied on Catholic militias and the Protestants got mad and demanded armed Protestant militias (sounds familiar, where have we seen something like that...?).

    The Founding Fathers discussed what they meant by the Second Amendment, and its antecedents in the state constitutions. It was for the purpose of preserving the integrity of the state and local militias, which at the time were integral to preserving and expanding a White Country. Militias were good for three things, and exactly three things for a hundred years before and after 1776:

    1. Kill Injuns
    2. Hold down the Negro
    3. Round up lawbreakers

    That's why militias were absolutely essential to daily life (and why they would provision arms if necessary). We don't have that kind of (white supremacist) wild country anymore. Well, some of us are trying not to.

    Yes, English law had a certain influence on the Constitution and legal practice, though it wasn't some automatic wholesale transfer. The impeachment clause, for example, is a formula directly lifted from English law dating back to the Middle Ages. What I mean to say is that they were deliberate about this selection.

    I'm not sure what this has to do with the case at hand.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 07-18-2019 at 00:22.
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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    We fucked
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Yes, English law had a certain influence on the Constitution and legal practice, though it wasn't some automatic wholesale transfer.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recept...#United_States

    After the 1776 American Revolution, one of the first legislative acts undertaken by each of the newly-independent states was to adopt a "reception statute" that gave legal effect to the existing body of English common law to the extent that the legislation or the constitution had not explicitly rejected English law.
    It was exactly an "automatic wholesale transfer".

    The entire body of Englich Common and Statute Law is the bedrock upon which the US Constitution sits, the Constitution is the framework upon which all US Law must be hanged.

    Rather archaic formulation, I admit, but this is an archaic argument.

    Earlier you accused me of being, "Englishman Passionate Defender of What He Imagines Lost Colonies' Constitution to Be". I respectfully submit that you are currently being "American who believes his country is specially and emerged fully formed of nothing."

    I have now read both decisions and I remain convinced the majority decision is the legally correct one - your courts are not competent to decide what a "fair" districting plan is because there is no applicable legal standard in a FPTP system.

    It is clear the State Legislatures are acting improperly, but that's not actually illegal in the US. Congress needs to pass a Bill which defines how districting should be done to resolve the problem.
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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    We fucked
    You mean you are ad fornicatiu​, you know the Backroom has rules about language.
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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    You mean you are ad fornicatiu​, you know the Backroom has rules about language.
    my bad.

    But we did have a straightforward standard on how much Gerrymandering was too much.
    Unfortunately, it required basic math. And the court hates math: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...ergic-to-math/
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    It was exactly an "automatic wholesale transfer".
    I'll admit to being imprecise, but it was a transfer of the pre-existing colonial legal frameworks. 17th-century English common law was the bedrock for the colonies. The legal system of Britain in the 1780s was not grafted onto the new republican form; they were selective.

    I have now read both decisions and I remain convinced the majority decision is the legally correct one - your courts are not competent to decide what a "fair" districting plan is because there is no applicable legal standard in a FPTP system.

    It is clear the State Legislatures are acting improperly, but that's not actually illegal in the US. Congress needs to pass a Bill which defines how districting should be done to resolve the problem.
    Federal courts up to now, as Kagan points out, have repeatedly inserted themselves into the redistricting process to evaluate gerrymanders. You would consider this illegitimate? The judges did not apply their own standards of fairness, but the standards of the states in question. Or, besides the federal c ourts, do you believe that state-level courts are incompetent to review redistricting according to constitutional principles? This is not hypothetical, it too has been done numerous times.

    If state courts are competent to do this, so are federal ones. A standard is discernible, indeed has been deployed, the majority just lacks an interest in discerning or employing it.

    Congress will not pass a bill to resolve the problem because it is not in the interest of the beneficiaries to do so. As Kagan says:

    The majority disagrees, concluding its opinion with a paean to congressional bills limiting partisan gerrymanders. “Dozens of [those] bills have been introduced,” the majority says. Ante, at 33. One was “introduced in 2005 and has been reintroduced in every Congress since.” Ibid. And might be reintroduced until the end of time. Because what all these bills have in common is that they are not laws.
    This was a central component of Roberts' specious reasoning and I'm sad to see you take it up. The majority offers no serious constitutional argument against court intervention, only handwringing about the theoretical capacity of Congress to act and the non-existent burden of determining a standard. It does not explain why other courts' standards are not discernible or manageable. They agree that constitutional harms exist in gerrymandering. The decision is plainly partisanship.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 07-18-2019 at 03:24.
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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    They never tackle the question of why would we expect a branch of government to limit its own authority and use of power? Especially when the concept of 'checks and balances' is baked into the Constitution.

    Excluding that absurd answer ('Congress will regulate itself') we are left with two choices, the Executive and the Judicial. When you follow up on this, it is clear what the final answer is.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Corleone View Post

    America's lurch into a false-Christian autrocratic theocracy will greatly accelerate on the heels of this.
    Buddy this about the protection of capital. The theocracy is just a happy coincidence.
    There, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford

    My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.

    I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.

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  25. #25
    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    I'll admit to being imprecise, but it was a transfer of the pre-existing colonial legal frameworks. 17th-century English common law was the bedrock for the colonies. The legal system of Britain in the 1780s was not grafted onto the new republican form; they were selective.
    Indeed, they were selective but the assumption is inheritance. The English Bill of Rights enumerates a "Right to bear Arms" and clearly distinguishes between legitimate restriction under law of that right and illegitimate infringement by a tyrant. The Bill also distinguishes between a military regulated by Parliament and an illegitimate militia raised without Parliamentary consent - a key point here is that the raising of a militia implies the paying of a militia - which requires a Money Bill. Despite this, since 2008 your Supreme Court has taken the view that an "individual right" to bear arms (which is enumerated in the English Bill of Rights) implies that the legislature cannot legitimately restrict that right.

    This seems to me unacceptably interventionist.

    Federal courts up to now, as Kagan points out, have repeatedly inserted themselves into the redistricting process to evaluate gerrymanders. You would consider this illegitimate? The judges did not apply their own standards of fairness, but the standards of the states in question. Or, besides the federal c ourts, do you believe that state-level courts are incompetent to review redistricting according to constitutional principles? This is not hypothetical, it too has been done numerous times.

    If state courts are competent to do this, so are federal ones. A standard is discernible, indeed has been deployed, the majority just lacks an interest in discerning or employing it.

    Congress will not pass a bill to resolve the problem because it is not in the interest of the beneficiaries to do so. As Kagan says:
    Yes, I know, I read both decisions - but from what I read the Court has, over several decades, refused to adjudicate on cases of partisan gerrymandering. As Roberts points out, even compact, contiguous districts of equal size will be likely to favour one party over another because certain regions tend to favour certain parties. This is a recognised quality in the UK where the urban areas in the North of England routinely vote Labour so that Conservative votes in those areas are wasted. Redrawing of Constinuancies there could be used to "uncrack" some of the Conservative vote and bring the partisan representation of the region more in line with the actual voter makeup.

    We don't consider that legitimate, though.

    As to Congress not passing a Bill to make voting districts fairer, other Western Democracies routinely do this and have done for a couple of Centuries - starting with the Great Reform Act in the UK in 1832.

    This was a central component of Roberts' specious reasoning and I'm sad to see you take it up. The majority offers no serious constitutional argument against court intervention, only handwringing about the theoretical capacity of Congress to act and the non-existent burden of determining a standard. It does not explain why other courts' standards are not discernible or manageable. They agree that constitutional harms exist in gerrymandering. The decision is plainly partisanship.
    In my view the dissenting opinion amounts to handwringing about how Congress is hopelessly corrupt. The majority decision is in line with the previous precedent on partisan gerrymandering, both sides seem to agree to that.

    Ultimately, to affect change the Supreme Court would need to establish minimum standards for the drawing of districts which would include compactness, respect for existing political and physical boundaries, contiguous territory and an effort to combine areas of similar geography - i.e. to avoid mixing rural and urban areas so that constituents have similar needs and expectations of their representatives.

    Constitutionally this looks like judicial over-reach. The core problem here is political, the US Constitution assumes a basic level of human decency clearly lacking in many modern American politicians and because of this the Constitution doesn't provide for a mechanism of redress outside the legislature. In this case Federal and State Legislatures should couterbalance each other, but they're in cahoots.

    As ACIN said.
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."


  26. #26
    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    They never tackle the question of why would we expect a branch of government to limit its own authority and use of power? Especially when the concept of 'checks and balances' is baked into the Constitution.

    Excluding that absurd answer ('Congress will regulate itself') we are left with two choices, the Executive and the Judicial. When you follow up on this, it is clear what the final answer is.
    As I pointed out to Monty, other legislatures do regulate themselves. This is the case even in the UK where their is no Constitution requiring them to do so.
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  27. #27

    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    Indeed, they were selective but the assumption is inheritance. The English Bill of Rights enumerates a "Right to bear Arms" and clearly distinguishes between legitimate restriction under law of that right and illegitimate infringement by a tyrant. The Bill also distinguishes between a military regulated by Parliament and an illegitimate militia raised without Parliamentary consent - a key point here is that the raising of a militia implies the paying of a militia - which requires a Money Bill. Despite this, since 2008 your Supreme Court has taken the view that an "individual right" to bear arms (which is enumerated in the English Bill of Rights) implies that the legislature cannot legitimately restrict that right.

    This seems to me unacceptably interventionist.
    Just to point out, it's clearly an individual right (as in individuals are the ones handling arms) but the purpose of the right is toward upholding the (collective) militias. Militias were a more omnipresent and often informal phenomenon in the Americas, for obvious reasons (Indians and Negroes).

    Yes, I know, I read both decisions - but from what I read the Court has, over several decades, refused to adjudicate on cases of partisan gerrymandering. As Roberts points out, even compact, contiguous districts of equal size will be likely to favour one party over another because certain regions tend to favour certain parties.
    This is a cop-out. The standards judges have applied are satisfactory. Roberts doesn't explain what's wrong with using the state's own standards in generating and assessing maps. The judges aren't inventing something from thin air.

    I also note that refusing to engage with these standards with the effect of preserving (as the majority admits, unusual and extreme) partisan gerrymander is much more political than acting to mitigate a partisan gerrymander.

    This is a recognised quality in the UK where the urban areas in the North of England routinely vote Labour so that Conservative votes in those areas are wasted. Redrawing of Constinuancies there could be used to "uncrack" some of the Conservative vote and bring the partisan representation of the region more in line with the actual voter makeup. We don't consider that legitimate, though.
    Who is "we"?

    As to Congress not passing a Bill to make voting districts fairer, other Western Democracies routinely do this and have done for a couple of Centuries - starting with the Great Reform Act in the UK in 1832.
    The practices of other governments are irrelevant to our existing arrangement, as conservative justices tend to emphasize elsewhere in their jurisprudence. The UK has a national health service. That suggests nothing about whether the US will or should establish a national health service, or vice versa that the UK will or should abolish its own.

    In my view the dissenting opinion amounts to handwringing about how Congress is hopelessly corrupt. The majority decision is in line with the previous precedent on partisan gerrymandering, both sides seem to agree to that.
    No, they don't agree. Previous decisions explicitly did not hold that federal courts lack authority to adjudicate complaints about partisan gerrymandering. The previous jurisprudence amounted to 'Reply hazy, try again.'

    Ultimately, to affect change the Supreme Court would need to establish minimum standards for the drawing of districts which would include compactness, respect for existing political and physical boundaries, contiguous territory and an effort to combine areas of similar geography - i.e. to avoid mixing rural and urban areas so that constituents have similar needs and expectations of their representatives.

    Constitutionally this looks like judicial over-reach.
    How? What in the Constitution are you referring to? What did Roberts refer to? Judges apply tests all the time. And as I said, if state courts are competent to adjudicate the issue with reference to the federal Constitution, so are federal courts. If those courts can apply standards, and Roberts admits there are legitimate constitutional harms arising from the practice of partisan gerrymandering, then exclaiming that judicial review is too difficult and political when it is not difficult, not reliant on individual politics, and inaction has a demonstrable political bias, is clearly a fig leaf to bolster the political power of his party - something that Roberts has done repeatedly in his time on the bench, so no benefit of the doubt warranted.

    the Constitution doesn't provide for a mechanism of redress outside the legislature
    What in Article III is contradicting here?
    Vitiate Man.

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  28. #28
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    As I pointed out to Monty, other legislatures do regulate themselves. This is the case even in the UK where their is no Constitution requiring them to do so.
    In moderate politics this is the case. In the new Bannon politics, politicians pursue whatever they can get away with, whatever tradition and custom may say. It is a cult, where the side you are matters above rules, good governance and decency. See Trump's followers repeating approvingly his latest outrages. See Brexit supporters disclaiming the relevance of all wrongs their leaders have done. See Trump's supporters excusing all his violations of the spirit of the constitution because what he does is arguably not illegal. See Brexit's leaders ignoring Parliament instructions because the Commons has no teeth. In previous eras, any of these would be a career-ending scandal. In this era, they do it because they know they can legally get away with it.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    In moderate politics this is the case. In the new Bannon politics, politicians pursue whatever they can get away with, whatever tradition and custom may say. It is a cult, where the side you are matters above rules, good governance and decency. See Trump's followers repeating approvingly his latest outrages. See Brexit supporters disclaiming the relevance of all wrongs their leaders have done. See Trump's supporters excusing all his violations of the spirit of the constitution because what he does is arguably not illegal. See Brexit's leaders ignoring Parliament instructions because the Commons has no teeth. In previous eras, any of these would be a career-ending scandal. In this era, they do it because they know they can legally get away with it.
    Don't worry. Trump's actions repeatedly exceed his legal and Constitutional authority, especially with respect to immigration law and Congressional oversight. He does indeed lose most of the cases brought against his administration, to our mild reassurance. Ultimately if he just ignored any law he pleased it would be difficult to imagine who could counteract it.

    Between the powerful, law is but a gentleman's agreement.
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  30. #30
    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gerrymandering

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Just to point out, it's clearly an individual right (as in individuals are the ones handling arms) but the purpose of the right is toward upholding the (collective) militias. Militias were a more omnipresent and often informal phenomenon in the Americas, for obvious reasons (Indians and Negroes).
    Yes, an individual right that can reasonably be restricted by properly enacted legislation.

    This is a cop-out. The standards judges have applied are satisfactory. Roberts doesn't explain what's wrong with using the state's own standards in generating and assessing maps. The judges aren't inventing something from thin air.

    I also note that refusing to engage with these standards with the effect of preserving (as the majority admits, unusual and extreme) partisan gerrymander is much more political than acting to mitigate a partisan gerrymander.
    First, I contest that non-intervention is partisan. The Court explicitly notes that the districting is partisan, it claims no competency to judge the case - not that partisanship is justified.

    Secondly, It seems to me that Roberts et al. are looking for a generally applicable standard. According to the majority judgement the one time the Court decided the gerrymander was justiciable it couldn't decide how to adjudicate the case.

    Who is "we"?
    Excuse me - "We" in this instance is the British electorate which largely accepts the current electoral map. those who agitate for reform (like Beskar) want a system of proportional representation (which would also address your districting problem).

    The practices of other governments are irrelevant to our existing arrangement, as conservative justices tend to emphasize elsewhere in their jurisprudence. The UK has a national health service. That suggests nothing about whether the US will or should establish a national health service, or vice versa that the UK will or should abolish its own.
    This is essentially saying, "other politicians can be expected to act respectably but our can't." That has to be the most extra-ordinary example of American exceptionalism.

    No, they don't agree. Previous decisions explicitly did not hold that federal courts lack authority to adjudicate complaints about partisan gerrymandering. The previous jurisprudence amounted to 'Reply hazy, try again.'
    Roberts makes it clear the problem here is not lack of authority per se but lack of a generally applicable standard.

    If Congress were to establish a cleaer standard it would be easier for the court to apply.

    How? What in the Constitution are you referring to? What did Roberts refer to? Judges apply tests all the time. And as I said, if state courts are competent to adjudicate the issue with reference to the federal Constitution, so are federal courts. If those courts can apply standards, and Roberts admits there are legitimate constitutional harms arising from the practice of partisan gerrymandering, then exclaiming that judicial review is too difficult and political when it is not difficult, not reliant on individual politics, and inaction has a demonstrable political bias, is clearly a fig leaf to bolster the political power of his party - something that Roberts has done repeatedly in his time on the bench, so no benefit of the doubt warranted.

    What in Article III is contradicting here?
    Honestly, I'm not going to try to get into this bit - I don't have time to read all the relevant literature. I'm sorry, but I'm just not seeing the argument - the dissenting judgement seems the more partisan to me and without years of American Law School I can't say more than that.
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."


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