For most of this decade, Democrats have not understood why they keep losing the U.S. House and state legislatures to Republican super-majorities. It’s not because American voters have moved to the right. The biggest single reason the GOP has that outsized grip on power is because they outsmarted Democrats when drawing political maps in 2011 for U.S. House races and state legislatures.
The former president mentioned an issue that really may make a difference: political gerrymandering. The Supreme Court will hear arguments this spring about gerrymandering — and Obama, along with his former attorney general, Eric Holder, have made it clear that they are going to stay active in the issue.
Endorsing the National Popular Vote would be a critical first step toward reshaping our electoral system. Reform from the top will encourage future Presidents, all elected by majority, to address the other distortions to our democracy, including gerrymandering, voter suppression laws, and the unfettered flow of money into politics.
A divided Supreme Court questioned whether race or politics was the main factor used in drawing the controversial legislative districts in Virginia and North Carolina.
The central question in the case is whether North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature approved oddly shaped congressional districts that were drawn illegally to pack minority voters in the 1st and 12th Congressional Districts.
The case hinged on a new way to measure the discriminatory effect of gerrymandering. The “efficiency gap” measure found the redistricting in Wisconsin caused Democrats to waste more votes than Republicans.
It may be an historic election, an election in which many states will be operating under rules adopted only in the last half dozen years. These rules affect the value of one’s vote and the ease of voting. All of this is occurring in a setting where fewer and fewer federal races are even competitive.
The voters who sued in 2013 said Scott’s district was racially “gerrymandered” by state legislators in 2012 to cram black voters into it and reduce black influence in neighboring districts in violation of the U.S. Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.
One root cause of the mutiny is the Great Republican Gerrymander of 2011, which helped elect and now protects the 45 ideological insurgents in the House.
Florida lawmakers adjourned their special session without drawing new congressional districts, which likely will leave the task to the courts.
The 5-4 decision bolsters an increasingly popular political reform adopted by voters in California and other states to transfer authority to draw districts from state legislators to a nonpartisan citizen panel.
In its decision, the Supreme Court referred to another ruling it made in late March that found Alabama had not properly investigated whether the state’s redrawing of voting districts was motivated by race.
[jwplayer player=”1″ mediaid=”65038″] Even though congressional approval is at historic lows, over 90 percent of incumbents will likely be re-elected in November. That’s no accident; it’s the system working. Click above to find out how politicians have rigged elections in their favor – then share this video! Video via Vox. Get more to Endorse delivered to […]