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Supreme Court to hear Gerrymandering Case - ATS Opinions

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posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 07:02 AM
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The Supreme Court is expected to hold a hearing on a Gerrymandering case some time this term.

www.npr.org...

fox6now.com...

The crux of the issue for those unfamiliar in this specific case is Wisconsin's redistricting in 2011 after they won control of the state legislature. In the case of the NPR article linked above, a man name Keith Gaddie helped create algorithms that would analyse thousands of permutations, weighted against voter registration data to determine the optimal redistricting layout that would maximize the entrenchment of Republican control for as long as possible. The Republican legislators then took this data, selected the optimal arrangement, and redrew the disctrict lines to match.

I have included a similar article from Fox to illustrate the differences in partisan reporting (though I believe the NPR article to be primarily neutral), as I know there are conservative members here that view NPR as a liberal sounding board.

We can now say that this redistricting has been wildly successful, for while Wisconsin Republicans are a minority of the vote (48.6%), they won 2/3rds of the seats in the legislature.


In the same way that the Electoral college serves as a check against mob rule, I believe some Republican's are arguing that because there are no provision in the constitution limiting gerrymandering, that it is entirely legal and completely within the rights of the controlling party to utilize. The end result however, seems to be a widening gulf between the representative makeup of our legislator and constituents, which is in effect robbing the power of one political parties votes.

On the surface, I see this as abhorrently undemocratic, and a poisonous path for the Republic. We now have computational ability to conclusively analyse districts to ascertain the level of gerrymandering (effectively any district that isn't basically a box shape), so the earlier argument made by Kennedy in the previous decision (which voted not to touch gerrymandering) that there was no reliable way to determine if and how much was occurring, is moot.

What I'm more curious to hear from are Republican or conservative members opinions on it, since for the most part it is your party doing it, and your party benefiting from it. Is there any limit that is too much?




posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 07:04 AM
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a reply to: Wayfarer


to determine the optimal redistricting layout that would maximize the entrenchment of Republican control for as long as possible. The Republican legislators then took this data, selected the optimal arrangement, and redrew the disctrict lines to match.

Is this the sacrificial lamb? Plenty of career politicians guarantee endless (s)election this way.

Lets see them go after the really entrenched ones like McCain in Arizona...
edit on 3-10-2017 by intrptr because: spelling



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 07:10 AM
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a reply to: Wayfarer

This outcome is a given. The Republican appointed judges will uphold the gerrymandering.



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 07:19 AM
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a reply to: Wayfarer

Gerrymandering is bad for the country, I don't think anyone would argue against that. But both parties are doing it. Look at Pelosi's district.

I think the solution is to bar political parties or at least put checks on the two party system.



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 07:25 AM
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a reply to: Wayfarer

I have only recently come to understand what it actually is about .



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 07:29 AM
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a reply to: watchitburn

I entirely agree with you. The idea that any political party (mine or any other) has the ability to effectively control the 'weight' of a vote seems anathema to the concept of a democratic republic.

Couldn't we just impartially 'grid' each state and therefore they are mathematically equivalent (insomuch as the states shape allows it with exceptions for the border areas)?



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 07:36 AM
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Take a look at the voting districts of any large city and just try to explain what the hell is going on.
It's obvious that somebody has a method to the madness.
I remember a story of Atlanta changing the district outlines to get more minority reps that ended up doing the exact opposite.



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 08:00 AM
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originally posted by: Bluntone22
Take a look at the voting districts of any large city and just try to explain what the hell is going on.
It's obvious that somebody has a method to the madness.
I remember a story of Atlanta changing the district outlines to get more minority reps that ended up doing the exact opposite.



Read the bookRatf**ked by David Dalay.

What we're seeing; what we've been seeing since 2010 is the systemic takeover by the fringes of the Republican party. It's no accident. In 2008 they started funding downticket republican candidates in massive amounts, and running smear campaigns, all in an effort to gain control of voting districts in key states. They did this to setup gerrymandered districts that will last until 2020 at minimum, unless we see a massive democrat wave vote happen. And I mean one that we haven't since since the 1930s.

It was an actual, proven, confessed and confirmed to conspiracy entitled Project Redmap. And now they're running Project Redmap 2020 in the effort to cement their control until 2040 or beyond.

This isn't good for our country. In a gerrymandered district opponents don't really have to worry about their opponent from a different party; they just have to worry about being primaries. Which means moving further and further from the center, and getting candidates that are less likely to reach across the isle to compromise and do what's best for us.

The democrats aren't innocent in this either; they've gerrymandered in the past. In fact, they're running their own version of Project Redmap now in an effort to counteract what has been done.

What we need is as a people, take back control of redistricting. In states that allow for citizen led referendums, start pushing for it, get it on the ballot, and campaign to get it passed. Setup non-partition or bi-partition committees that set the districts based on city, county, and natural boundary lines, combined with compactness. Leave out racial handle redistricting; leave out political redistricting.

Arizona, California, and Idaho have all had some success with this method; it's high time the rest of the states followed suit.



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 08:29 AM
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a reply to: tebyen

Where is the eventual end to this?

As a hypothetical, lets assume the Republicans are just better at this, and in 20 years foment so much control through gerrymandering that a state with 70%+ of the vote for an alternative party still yields an overwhelming majority of Republican seats. This though experiment would show that at that point there is no way to wrestle control away from that kind of entrenchment. Is the end result that relatively proportional representation becomes a phantom of the past, and we just accept the new norm that Republican's control everything and will always control them forever more?

Considering that there is no constitutional precedent for this, as gerrymandering wasn't a thing at the time of its writing, are we headed down a path of some kind of amendment (and if so, how can that be accomplished with the Republican's in power control everything)?
edit on 40am17famTue, 03 Oct 2017 08:29:28 -0500America/ChicagoTue, 03 Oct 2017 08:29:28 -0500 by Wayfarer because: spelling



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 08:38 AM
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a reply to: Wayfarer

The problem with stopping this becomes very problematic...it would be easy to say, for instance, that voting districts should follow along existing boundaries, like county lines, city borders, school districts, etc. The thing is, if that were the case, I guarantee that there would be state/county/municipal bodies that would redraw said borders in order to retain power.

Gerrymandering is a small issue, IMO, but one that should be addressed, and apparently it is. But the thing is, I fully agree that the 10th Amendment gives the states the right to choose how to handle the drawing of their voting districts, and at some point, we have to stop hoping that big-daddy Federal Government will step in and "fix" everything that we perceive to be wrong with individual states.

I'd like to see this issue resolved, but I'd like to see it done at the state level. At best/worst, MAYBE the federal government can put a time limit on how soon districts can be redistributed.

I'd prefer that we start with term limits for our Congressmen, though, as that is a much bigger issue.



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 08:45 AM
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As someone who lives in Wisconsin, we are happy the lines are being redrawn correctly. For far too long Milwaukee and Madison have had total control over the rest of the State.

They were drawn incorrectly and now are fixed.



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 08:48 AM
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originally posted by: Tempter
As someone who lives in Wisconsin, we are happy the lines are being redrawn correctly. For far too long Milwaukee and Madison have had total control over the rest of the State.

They were drawn incorrectly and now are fixed.


I take it you feel that way because your vote now counts for 1.6 times the value as the opposing political party. Would you feel the same way if your vote counted for 0.3 times the value after this re-drawing?



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 08:54 AM
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There is no doubt that the RNC and support organizations did this intentionally.

REDMAP - the Redistricting Majority Project



As the 2010 Census approached, the RSLC began planning for the subsequent election cycle, formulating a strategy to keep or win Republican control of state legislatures with the largest impact on congressional redistricting as a result of reapportionment. That effort, the REDistricting MAjority Project (REDMAP), focused critical resources on legislative chambers in states projected to gain or lose congressional seats in 2011 based on Census data.



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 09:45 AM
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Of course it was intentional. The question remains though, if all political control is vested in one party, yet over half the country is in opposition to that party, is that a representative democracy anymore?



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 09:47 AM
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originally posted by: Wayfarer
Of course it was intentional. The question remains though, if all political control is vested in one party, yet over half the country is in opposition to that party, is that a representative democracy anymore?


The composition of the Senate is not affected by gerrymandering.

The election of the President is not affected by gerrymandering.



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 09:52 AM
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originally posted by: Gryphon66

originally posted by: Wayfarer
Of course it was intentional. The question remains though, if all political control is vested in one party, yet over half the country is in opposition to that party, is that a representative democracy anymore?


The composition of the Senate is not affected by gerrymandering.

The election of the President is not affected by gerrymandering.


Not directly, but indirectly it most certainty is. Voter suppression occurs at the state level.



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 09:58 AM
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a reply to: Wayfarer


Couldn't we just impartially 'grid' each state and therefore they are mathematically equivalent (insomuch as the states shape allows it with exceptions for the border areas)?

The only air way to do it is one person, one vote. All the two party, districting, Electoral votes is a way to manipulate the system to get desired results, favoring one side or the other.

This is not truly of by and for the people, by democratic means (one person, one vote). Votes are suppose to be for limited term candidates, not parties.



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 10:01 AM
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originally posted by: Wayfarer
Of course it was intentional. The question remains though, if all political control is vested in one party, yet over half the country is in opposition to that party, is that a representative democracy anymore?

Where do you live that you have a representative democracy ?
I believe the US is a controlled Republic.



posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 10:06 AM
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Each State redistricts its own regions. Be that counties , districts , whatever. And mostly for population change .
I dont think the term gerrymandering has been used in the US since the Whig and Tory days
We bringing that back ?




posted on Oct, 3 2017 @ 10:06 AM
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a reply to: Gothmog

A democratic republic is a form a representative democracy.



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