Supreme Court Decisions This Week: Blocking Citizenship Question in 2020 Census & Federal Hands-Off of Gerrymandering
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
(Please click on red links & note magenta)
On Thursday, June 27, 2019, the Supreme Court decided that the Trump administration did not give an adequate reason to add the citizenship question to the 2020 census. The Supreme Court has blocked the controversial citizenship question from being added to the 2020 census for now, citing reason for concern about why the Department of Commerce wanted to add the question, and insufficient explanation, in the video “Supreme Court blocks census citizenship question for now“, below:
This week the Supreme Court issued two major rulings that could have a profound effect on our Democracy and the power of the individual vote. Joy Reid is joined by Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, to discuss, in the video “Supreme Court Ruling Could Entrench GOP Political Power, MSNBC“, below:
“Is this person a citizen of the United States? ” These nine words are at the heart of a massive dust up around the 2020 census that has sparked debate about the rights of voters, minorities and immigrants. It has culminated in a Supreme Court case involving not only whether or not it’s constitutional to ask about citizenship, but if the way the Commerce Department reintroduced the question was even legal. So far, three judges have found that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross gave a phony reason for adding a Census citizenship question. With the census due to be printed, the question is on it’s way to the Supreme Court, in the video “How a census question about citizenship ended up in the Supreme Court, The Fact Checker“, below:
The Supreme Court ended its term with two major rulings that could have long-running implications for fundamental U.S. political processes. It blocked a census citizenship question, at least for now, and declared federal courts have no role in policing partisan gerrymandering. NPR’s Hansi Lo Wang and Stu Rothenberg of “Inside Elections” join Jeffrey Brown and National Law Journal’s Marcia Coyle, in the video “Supreme Court ends term with major rulings on census, gerrymandering“, below:
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts could be the new swing vote on the bench after siding with the four conservative justices to allow partisan gerrymandering to continue, while siding with the four liberal justices to at least temporarily block the Trump administration from implementing a citizenship question on the 2020 census. CNN’s Gloria Borger takes a look at his career, in the video “Is Chief Justice Roberts the new swing vote on the Supreme Court?“
I have already posted my position about the citizenship question at: Should the Citizenship Question Be Added To 2020 Census?
As for gerrymandering, my feelings are split. On the one hand, the more gerrymandering there is, the less individual voices will be represented and therefore less representation of democracy. On the other hand, leaving the decision of gerrymandering up to individual states is very much in line with the U.S. Constitution, for there is no mention of gerrymandering in the U.S. Constitution. However….. I would like to share part of what is presented in the Cato Institute, in italics, below:
Today in Rucho v. Common Cause and Lamone v. Benisek Chief Justice Roberts as expected recruited the votes of newcomers Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh for the position identified with Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Antonin Scalia that gerrymandering is a political question to which the Constitution provides no judicial remedy.
If partisan gerrymandering is a substantial evil worth fighting – and I believe it is – we should now get serious about finding that remedy through other means. The Constitution’s Elections Clause provides that “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations,” and in fact Congress has in the past prescribed to the states standards for districting. These include standards on compactness, a vital principle of good districting that all by itself would disallow many of the most garish gerrymanders by which U.S. House members reach the Capitol. Countering the gerrymandering of state legislatures is a tougher challenge, but even in states without a process for ballot initiatives it is a natural issue for reformist governors and others who run in non-districted races.
Around the country, machine politicians must be thinking they’ve got a free hand to draw maps even worse than the ones last round. We shouldn’t let them.
Some have proposed the idea of setting up independent commission at each state to draw up voting districts as a way for the federal government to remain neutral while having more fair state election outcomes.
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker More about the community at www.WindermereSun.com
~Let’s Help One Another~
Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics: