Court Strikes Fatal Blow – Gerrymandering Out, Commission In

Gerrymandering is such a pretty word ? with such an awful meaning. Basically it is a?method that politicians use to?manipulate voting areas into sick puzzle pieces. And why would they do this?

Gerrymandering Out, Commission In. IVN.


Well, if you can bend your voting body into a pretzel every ten years, you can have only Republican (or Democrat) voters. And isn?t that nice?

But approximately a dozen states have come up with a far better idea. They have ?independent redistricting commissions.? That means the politicians don?t draw up the voting maps. Instead an independent group of people do it.

Seven states use the commissions. That way politicians who would benefit from a redrawn district, can?t draw it up themselves.

Republican Challenge

A Republican state lawmaker wasn?t happy with the commissions, so he went to the Supreme Court. He said it wasn?t constitutional. And the highest court decided he was wrong.

The Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that states can allow commissions to redraw their congressional maps.

Court For Commission

Writing for the majority, Ruth Bader Ginsberg strenuously disagreed with those in support of the gerrymandering:

?The history and purpose of the Clause?weigh heavily against such preclusion, as does the animating?principle of our Constitution that the people themselves?are the originating source of all the powers of?government.”

“(Quoting James Madison) The genius of republican liberty seems to demand . . .?not only that all power should be derived from the people,?but that those entrusted with it should be kept in dependence?on the people.?

“(Commissions) thus impede legislators?from choosing their voters instead of facilitating the?voters? choice of their representatives.”

Of course independent commissions are filled with ? people. And as we all know, that is where the trouble begins. Because after all, we are all imperfect.

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About Gloria Christie

Gloria Christie founded Gloria Christie Reports, a common sense column about liberal politics. She wrote for, the Kansas City Star, Where High Technology Meets Politics for London’s IDG-Connect Blog and The Best Times. Her total readership is over 5 million. Christie has an MS in radio-TV-film and an MPA in business/government relations. She was a systemic problems consulting expert for Fortune 100/500 businesses here and off-shore. Christie invented and implemented the first computerized patient chart. She also worked on Howard Dean’s, John Kerry’s, and Barak Obama’s presidential campaigns. She is particularly interested in liberal politics, high-tech, complex systems, and change. Like her Facebook page, visit her website, and follow her on Twitter.Click here to buy Gloria Christie a vodka martini.