Thursday, June 27, 2019

SCOTUS backs out of settling gerrymandering, so it continues; census citizenship question dead


The Supreme Court has ruled that the courts have no role in stopping gerrymandering or drawing districts, and that this is a political process. Devan Cole et al has a detailed story on CNN. 

The cases were in North Carolina and Maryland, and the decision will reinforce political polarization, often to the artificial benefit of Republicans.


The case was Rucho v. Common Cause, pdf. 
  
Jeffrey Toobin noted that Roberts had suggested that states (like California) could set up independent commissions to challenges district boundaries, but that idea has been called unconstitutional in the past.

You can't gerrymander on the basis of race, but you can on the basis of political affiliation, which is not a protected class by itself. Gerrymandering is like trying to win all the one-run ball games and finishing ahead in the standing of a team with more blowout wins. 
  
The Court also struck down the Trump administration’s adding of a citizenship question to the Census, 5-4     Roberts sided with the liberal majority after the Commerce Department expressed concerns. 

Trump has said he may delay the Census.  Can he do that? 

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