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THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT HAS HAPPENED THIS YEAR.

Yeah, okay, a federal district court decision out of North Carolina isn’t sexy like the Fusion GPS Dossier. It’s not delicious like Bannon getting his comeuppance. But long after Emperor Dementia is pushing up daisies, when Melania has packed on 30 pounds and shacked up with the security guard, after Barron has changed his name and moved to an ashram, we will still be stuck with Congress. AND GOD HELP US IF WE DON’T FIX IT BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.

Right now, the House of Representatives and virtually every state legislature is gerrymandered to shit. The GOP has spent a generation redrawing state and Congressional districts to ensure permanent Republican control, no matter how many votes Democrats get. That’s why Republicans have a nine percent advantage in House seats, with a measly one percent margin in the popular vote.

Image via Wikipedia

That’s how a blue wave in Virginia produced a GOP-led legislature (51-49) when the GOP only won 44 percent of the vote. The game is hopelessly rigged!

In 2016, a federal court in Wisconsin finally said ENOUGH OF THIS FUCKERY, ruling that partisan gerrymandering violates the Equal Protection Clause. The Supreme Court heard arguments this fall on the Wisconsin decision, and agreed to hear a case out of Maryland, which is gerrymandered to favor Democrats. Perhaps a positive omen?

And yesterday in North Carolina a second federal court tossed out Congressional districts for being illegally partisan. This is how the law changes — multiple courts in different Circuits agreeing that the old laws violate the Constitution.

Okay, if your eyes are glazing over, here’s the TLDR: BIG DEAL COURT CASE. MAYBE FIX RIGGED CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS. NICETIMES.

Let’s Lawsplore!

Mapfucking in the Tarheel State

Republicans in North Carolina made no bones about what they were doing. State Rep. David Lewis admitted it outright: “I think electing Republicans is better than electing Democrats. So I drew this map to help foster what I think is better for the country.” Lewis and his colleagues hired the chief GOP mapfucker, Tom Hofeller, and told him to maximize the number of safe Republican Congressional Districts. Using past vote tallies, Hofeller cracked Asheville and Greensboro, packed Durham, Mecklenburg, and Wake Counties, and produced 10 reliably Republican districts out of 13 in a state that is basically 50% red and 50% blue.

Despite their success at using predictive computer modeling to ratfuck the vote, the NC GOP’s main defense is that MATH IS HARD. How can you prove that they did it on purpose, huh? Maybe they wished it, and then it just happened by magic!

The Court is not here for that bullshit.

But — as evidenced by their consistent placement of “social science” in quotation marks and their characterization of Plaintiffs’ evidence as “academically inspired” — Legislative Defendants’ judicial manageability argument appears to rest on a more cynical objection: that we should dismiss Plaintiffs’ actions as nonjusticiable simply because much of the evidence upon which Plaintiffs’ rely has its genesis in academic research and is the product of an effort by scholars to apply novel, and sometimes complex, methodological approaches to address a previously intractable problem. To the extent Legislative Defendants are in fact making such an argument, it fails as a matter of both fact and law.

The court spent literally 80 pages — we skimmed it! — showing all the ways you could measure the map to prove the GOP cheated. Even if they hadn’t been dumb enough to admit it out loud. FFS, in 2016 the GOP took 53% of the vote and 77% of Congressional seats. They forced Democrats to “waste” their votes in supermajority districts, driving the efficiency gap above 19% in 2016.

Democratic candidates, therefore, consistently won by larger margins than Republican candidates. Additionally, the Democratic candidate’s margin in the least Democratic district in which a Democratic candidate prevailed (34.04%) was nearly triple that of the Republican candidate’s margin in the least Republican district in which a Republican candidate prevailed (12.20%)[.]

In short, NC legislators deliberately made Democratic votes worth less than Republican ones. Which is news to no one, but it’s a threshold issue before the Court can decide if this dilution is legal. [Editrix’s note: We asked your Five Dollar Feminist if SCOTUS could look at the Electoral College on that basis, and she said no, because the Electoral College is “in the Constitution.” Even though slavery was too.]

Equal Protection

It seems fairly obvious that cracking and packing Democrats devalues their votes and thus violates the Equal Protection Clause. If my vote is worth less than yours, then we are not equal in the eyes of the law. But before the Wisconsin districts were invalidated, courts had largely taken the position that it was impossible to measure partisan gerrymandering because MATH IS HARD. Having worked so hard to establish an objectively measurable standard, however, the judges in North Carolina were then free to toss the districts for being unconstitutional.

Partisan gerrymandering potentially runs afoul of the Equal Protection Clause because, by seeking to diminish the electoral power of supporters of a disfavored party, a partisan gerrymander treats individuals who support candidates of one political party less favorably than individuals who support candidates of another party.

First Amendment

Y’all, those North Carolina judges were trolling hard yesterday. In Citizens United, the Supreme Court said that money is political speech, unleashing a poison tidal wave of political spending. But if money is political speech, then obviously votes must also be speech. Which is how the court came to invalidate North Carolina’s districts for violating the First Amendment.

Relatedly, by seeking to dilute the electoral speech of supporters of disfavored parties or candidates, partisan gerrymandering runs afoul of the First Amendment’s prohibition on laws that disfavor a particular group or class of speakers. Citizens United, 558 U.S. at 340 (explaining that “[s]peech restrictions based on the identity of the speaker are all too often simply a means to control content”).

Since the mapfuckers used past voting data, i.e. political speech, to dilute the voices of Democratic voters, the maps violate the First Amendment. Womp womp.

FIX IT NOW!

The same NC federal court has been trying for the better part of a decade to get the NC legislature to fix its maps. Every time the court orders the GOP to produce legal, non-discriminatory districts, the legislature dicks around for a year and comes back with the same old illegal shit. Then they litigate for another year, at which point they throw up their hands and say, “Ooops, we’re out of time. Guess we’ll have to use the old maps for the next election.” But not today, Satan! The court ordered the NC lege to come up with a new map by January 29. And just in case they don’t (or they don’t do it in good faith), the Court is gonna get started drawing it up themselves.

To that end, we intend to appoint in short order a Special Master pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 53 to assist the Court in drawing an alternative remedial plan.

HO. LEE. SHIT.

It’s a pretty safe bet the GOP will immediately appeal this ruling. We would not be FOR SHOCKED to see the Supreme Court take it directly, since it touches on the same issues as the Wisconsin and Maryland cases. So who knows what will happen. BUT THIS IS A BIG DEAL. We could impeach Trump tomorrow, and we’d still be fucked if courts allow the GOP to cheat their way into power. Redistricting is the only way back to a stable, bipartisan democracy.

Fingers crossed, Wonkers!

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[League of Women Voters v. Rucho / Chicago Tribune]

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  • OutOfOrbit

    ah, the gop will just appeal appeal appeal up to the SC(R)OTUS, which they now control

    • J. M. Tusks, Esq.

      I don’t rule anything out with this Court. There’s Citizens United, and then there’s Obergefell. It kinda comes down to whether Roberts cares about his legacy on any given day.

  • ManchuCandidate

    No one party should ever fuck with the election districts. That includes Demoncraps but more so GOPers. Also Greens who would have moved Cincinnati to Columbus.

    • GoutMachine

      Precisely. How in the holy hell is it OK (spoiler: it isn’t) for elections to have any hint of partisanship? All districts should be drawn by non-partisan, non-political organizations. Full stop.

    • J. M. Tusks, Esq.

      That’s why the Maryland district favoring Democrats is so clutch. Kinda undercuts any “sore loser” arguments, doesn’t it?

  • clubseal

    This headline reads like a line from Watchmen‘s Rorschach.

    • therblig

      hurm.

  • Dept. of Space Tacos

    ““I think electing Republicans is better than electing Democrats. So I drew this map to help foster what I think is better for the country.”

    Grrrrr.grrrr.grrrr

    YOU’RE DEMOCRACYING WRONG!

    Motherfucking, scumsucking, assfaced, totalitarian, right wing elitist, rat bastard sonofabitch.

    (I’d wander out into the desert to curse and calm down, but it’s cold and rainy out).

    • Ali | A Grumpy Cat

      I think electing Democrats is better than electing Rethuglicans, but I still want a fair map so we can beat their asses properly, with votes.

      • A Groucho Marxist

        It’s a small philosophical difference liberals have with conservatives. We want to be fair, and they are rabid assholes.

      • Jennaratrix

        Which neatly summarizes the difference between the two parties and instantly invalidates that stupid “BOTH SIDES!” garbage.

        • like really RESISTLY GHERKINS!

          I recall reading one of those Cletus Safari articles way back when Special Prosecutor Mueller was freshly appointed, where they asked Trumpers their opinions on all the Russian voting shenanigans.

          One of them said something to the effect of how it didn’t bother him even if they HAD cheated in order to get Trump elected, because he was going to be so good for the country.

          BOTH FUCKING SIDES MY ASS

          • Naytch

            Cletus Safari, Gigglesnort!!

      • TimResistit

        Not only that but even if we lose in a district I want to know what went wrong other than “the fix was in” from the beginning.

      • Dept. of Space Tacos

        agreed.

  • Jesus, I hope so.

    Maybe if Republicans realize that their district isn’t made up of 90% of drooling Breitbart commenters and Alex Jones listeners anymore, they’ll regain some small grasp on reality. Still be dishonest motherfuckers, of course, but maybe not so much brain dead, motherfucking stupid, dishonest motherfuckers.

    • GoutMachine

      I think you’re giving them too much credit.

      • Maybe. But I think there still some Republicans out there who are motivated by their two guiding principles from the 80’s:
        • I like money.
        • I don’t want to lose my job because I want to be in a position to make more money.

        As opposed to the current crop whose guiding principles are:
        • Me likey paste
        • Me likey big booms
        • Me likey Jesus.

        • bbayliss

          The donor class; “Gimme more !!!”
          The base; “Give ’em more!!11!!!11!!!”

        • Illuminotquite

          Those are the 10-13% of the population that aren’t Trumpers, but will still vote Republican NO MATTER WHAT. If you look at the numbers, somewhere around a third of the population supports Trump. Somewhere around 20% are the Wingnut Always Trumpers, and the remainder are the Always Republicans. There are no “swing votes” on the Right, so forget that concept entirely. The Always Republicans are scared to death of the Always Trumpers, and so will fall in line. Just like the Republican Congresscritters are scare to death of the Always Trumpers, and yet still perform on demand like Shamu for the donor class. It’s fascinating, really. But the ’80’s was the birth of trickle-down, so Republicans en masse voted to pay their bosses more while getting less for themselves, and continue to do that to this day. It REALLY IS fascinating.

          • Bigly smart jesterpunk

            Its almost like the republican party is a cult and Trump is just their latest cult leader after Saint Ronny Raygun.

          • Illuminotquite

            It’s JUST like that.

    • Illuminotquite

      Nope. Never happen. The concept of “electoral consequences” will have to be proven to them before they’ll believe in it.

    • Nockular cavity

      At this point, 90% of Republican pols are drooling Breitbart commenters and Alex Jones listeners.

    • Courser_Resistance

      Well, they’ll quickly learn that that drooling bullshit doesn’t, in fact, appeal to a majority of voters. They can have all the bible-beating rallies they desire, but it still won’t win them a majority of votes. There will be a lot of raging butthurt about it but we can just point and laugh. Kind of how they’re pointing and laughing at all us ‘snowflakes’ right now.

  • goonemeritus

    I’m sure we will get this fixed just before Democrats win back the levers of power thanks to Trump being awful.

    • bbayliss

      fixing this is part of winning the levers

  • Vagenda and Pee-ara

    I just read that Congress would have remained completely Democratic in 2012 if it hadn’t been for gerrymandering. This is really pissing me off.

    • Bigly smart jesterpunk

      That is what happens when people don’t vote in non presidential elections because they are not cool enough.

      • Nockular cavity

        Yep. 2010 election fucked us, bigly.

  • Christopher Story

    A simple principle really: We get to pick our representatives. Our representatives don’t get to pick their voters.

    All hail John Oliver!
    https://youtu.be/A-4dIImaodQ

    • GoutMachine

      When does he come back from hiatus? Early February, maybe?

      • Christopher Story

        Not soon enough, for sure.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      Geographical districts suck and are prone to manipulation. The most common alternative, at large party list voting is not something Americans will go for, unfortunately.

  • Resistance Fighter Callyson

    From the NYT’s take on this crap:

    The unusually blunt decision by the panel could lend momentum to two other challenges on gerrymandering that are already before the Supreme Court — and that the North Carolina case could join if Republicans make good on their vow to appeal Tuesday’s ruling.

    I’m looking at you, Pennsylvania…

    • OutOfOrbit

      i donut have a lot of confidence in the SC(R)OTUS since 2000

    • Latverian Diplomat

      How do court cases gain momentum? Do judges have peer pressure? “All the cool judges are ruling against racist gerrymandering this year”?

  • Latverian Diplomat

    This Just In: North Carolina convicted of Gerrymandering, Sentenced to Probation, but will have to wear an ankle monitor due to past history of secession.

  • Toomush_Inferesistance

    Michigan is so pissed over this, we’re on the verge of changing it in the next election cycle by referendum…Woot!…

  • Spotts1701, Porg Wrangler

    “I think electing Republicans is better than electing Democrats. So I drew this map to help foster what I think is better for the country.”

    You said the quiet part out loud, moron. But thanks for making the court’s decision about bad faith so much easier.

    • OutOfOrbit

      and he wonders why nobody will sit with him at lunch anymore

    • bbayliss

      They don’t even try anymore.

    • Dept. of Space Tacos

      what are the chances it was a damn tweet?

    • OneYieldRegular

      Somebody’s parents forget to teach him how to use his indoor voice.

    • like really RESISTLY GHERKINS!

      “Oh, we’re still supposed to hide it? I thought President Putin’s Bagman changed those rules. MY BAD”

  • Scooby

    How do you have a Democracy when the party currently in power determines all the rules for voting?

    • TJ Barke

      “We don’t live in a democracy, libtards, we live in a republic!” -wingnuts.

      • unclejeems

        I tried to make a reasoned reply to one such statement a few days ago. The response was that individual votes (and voters) don’t count. It’s only state votes that count–in a republic. So if 26 states want Trump for Prez and 24 don’t, Trump still wins– no matter how many people voted for the other candidates.

        The fool had no idea of what he (or I) was saying and was apparently sincere. But it was the starkest example I’ve ever run across of the influence of right-wing “theories” about government on the ill-informed. I’m sure this guy thought his little lecture convinced me that he was right, and that he was a real intellectual paragon.

        I didn’t have the heart to squash the pathetic creature, so I didn’t reply. But there are millions of these autodidacts out there whose only “source” of “facts” is the last piece of bullshit they heard on Fox. And of course, they vote–all the time, convicted that they are absolutely right. (sigh)

  • Bigly smart jesterpunk

    Was North Carolina one of the states subject to the voting rights act rules requiring federal oversight before Roberts said it’s not a problem anymore?

    • elviouslyqueer

      Yes. The entire South was.

  • alpacapunchbowl
  • h4rr4r

    Better idea, proportional representation.

    • OutOfOrbit

      yeah but that’s so complicated

      • h4rr4r

        I think you mean simple. Very simple.

  • Dept. of Space Tacos

    So, $5F – chances this survives on appeal? All this fairness and logic and idealism seems like the thing that’s unimportant to a certain wing of SCOTUS.

    • Fivedollarfeminist

      It’s all on Justice Kennedy.

      • OutOfOrbit

        so was gore v bush

  • onedollarjuana

    Unfortunately, our Supreme Court has been gerrymandered, with predictable results.

  • calliecallie

    If you can’t win legitimately, cheat. Republican motto.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      They can’t win on the policies they want to implement. So they have to cheat. It’s the only way.

  • DoILookAmused2u? Résistance☨

    So North Carolina may no longer be considered a fake democracy on par with Iran and Cuba soon?

    • Dept. of Space Tacos

      you make a good point – “fake news” leads to “fake elections” and then (actual) fake democracy.

    • bbayliss

      “North Carolina is no longer classified as a democracy”
      http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article122593759.html

    • Vagenda and Pee-ara

      I couldn’t believe it when their governor was refusing to leave after he lost the election. I have a feeling Pussgrab may try the same shit.

      • alpacapunchbowl

        That’s what handcuffs and big brawny federal agents are for.

    • LesBontemps

      Well, no one is saying that, exactly.

  • Bigly smart jesterpunk

    But the GOP doesnt consider Democrats as people or American’s and sadly Gorsuch would agree with them. I hope the other republicans on the court actually remember their jobs and legacy if this case does go to SCOTUS.

    • OutOfOrbit

      “–their jobs and legacy…” ?
      TOO LATE
      ROFLMAO

      • Bigly smart jesterpunk

        Yeah I know.

        • OutOfOrbit

          i know you do

        • Spotts1701, Porg Wrangler

          Roberts is our best shot. He doesn’t want to have his name mentioned synonymously with Roger Taney or Melville Fuller in terms of Chief Justices who presided over manifestly unjust decisions.

          • OutOfOrbit

            HARK! a ray of hope!(?)

          • Spotts1701, Porg Wrangler

            I read Jeffrey Toobin’s The Oath – he paints a picture of a conservative John Roberts who is also very aware of his precarious position as Chief Justice and how much he wants to have a legacy that does not include the words “captured judiciary” within it. There is some belief his vote upholding the ACA was more about maintaining that legacy than anything else.

          • OutOfOrbit

            yeah but citizens united phffft

          • Raan

            Well, he shouldn’t have decided that money is speech then.

          • PersianOregano

            He doesn’t want his statue unceremoniously removed in the middle of the night to an undisclosed location?

    • Vagenda and Pee-ara

      Clarence Thomas? Lol!

    • Villago Delenda Est

      They won’t. They’re maggots. All of them. They hate the very idea of democracy.

  • JaveyDay
    • dslindc

      Is PacMan Jill Stein in this graphic?

  • Ryan Denniston

    There ought to be a law. We get to live for the next 10 years with the new maps before the GOP gets to try more fuckery. At this rate, we won’t have an election based on legitimate maps from the golram 2010 redistricting!

    • Lefty Wright

      That’s why the 2020 elections are critical. And how the GOP regained so many states only a year into the worst economic collapse since the Depression in the 1930s. With complicity from the weak kneed news media blasting the ACA.

  • Vagenda and Pee-ara

    I could put my finger on the screen of my phone, touch a Wonker’s name, and that person would be a better president than Donald J. Dumpsterfire. It never ceases to amaze me that the leader of the free world gives people derogatory nicknames. I do it, but I KNOW I’m a petty jerk who isn’t qualified to be POTUS. Mind = blown.

  • TheGrandWazoo2

    If the GOP can’t pack the districts, they’ll pack the courts. If they can’t pack the courts, they’ll restrict voting rights in the states. If they can’t restrict voting rights, they’ll whine and cry, invent phony scandals, and obstruct justice until they get the chance to do it all over again.

    • ChumpsForTrump

      And if they can’t do any of that, America wins.

    • Lefty Wright

      If people don’t vote, or rely on facts on picking who to vote for, we will continue to suffer from the Republican blight we have seen since Nixon.

    • like really RESISTLY GHERKINS!

      Don’t forget the power of their ever-present 24/7/365 Propaganda Channel, which has been the perfect infection vector for their Republican viruses.

  • Marceline

    “But long after Emperor Dementia is pushing up daisies…..”

    *pauses to dream of that magnificent day*

    • Vagenda and Pee-ara

      I’m picturing a day of national celebration, with drinking and fireworks and mattresses at 50% off.

      • Raan

        And cars with PA rigs on the top blasting “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead”?

        • Lefty Wright

          I would replace witch with bastard.

          • Raan

            That’s fair.

            We’re going to need to get you in a recording booth at least six months before the event, though.

          • OneYieldRegular

            If Wolff’s book is accurate about the daily McMerde dinners, six months may be way too long away.

        • LeighBowery’sLuxuryComedy

          And big gay dance parties in the streets!

          • SweetDeeKat

            Mardi Gras for everyone for DAYS!

          • LeighBowery’sLuxuryComedy

            Honestly, I think we should be having big gay taco street dance parties *anyway*. Just to make em wonder what we’re up to.

          • Mentally Stable Ron

            I like the way you think.

          • LeighBowery’sLuxuryComedy

            Why thankee.

          • TakingAmes

            How is that different from regular Mardi Gras? (Sorry, just came back from NOLA, where we attended Twelfth Night/opening day of Carnival festivities. Mardi Gras day is Feb. 13.)

          • SweetDeeKat

            It would be NATIONWIDE, down to the pigshit burghs that still have decent people.

          • BillEGoatSmirk

            Taco trucks on every corner!

    • SisterArtemis

      I’m praying for that name change/ashram path for Barron before it’s too late. And I hope Melania finds happiness with her security guard.

    • like really RESISTLY GHERKINS!

      I am not.

      I mean, the amount of piss Imma have to hold to do proper justice to his grave is gonna be SUPER UNCOMFORTABLE.

      • Beelzebubba

        Can daisies even grow, with all the piss that’ll be showered on that grave?

        • Rooster Cogburn105

          National Strategic Ammonia Preserve, must keep our precious bodily fluids safe from subversive foreigners!

  • Marceline
    • Villago Delenda Est

      Jon Husted is a fucking coward.

    • ((( Augustus )))

      lol, yesterday he retweeted something about how great Ohio is to its veterans and how much they help vets to vote

      typical say one thing do the other GOP bullshit

  • Jgb979

    While not true every congressional election: in 2012 D votes for congresss exceeded R votes in North Carolina. Goopers had 10 reps, Good guys had 3.

    The exact same map could have been redrawn 9 to 4 in favor of team D

    Democracy only works when voters get to pick their representatives. Not vice Versa

  • Lefty Wright

    The NC legislature was smacked down on a state legislative redistricting decision recently. That did not go into partisan issues, but the case has been bouncing around the courts for years, with the state always losing. they addressed racial issues. But they essentially won by delaying fair representation through several election cycles, even now having a veto proof legislative majority facing a Democratic governor.

    One judge in particular spanked the attorney arguing the maps drawn by the court appointed special master were not fair and they should stick with the latest map drawn by the same guy who did the original maps in 2011 and 2013. The judge asked if the legislature or their map guy ever bothered consulting the courts to see how to remedy the constitutionality issues. Of course, the answer was no. The three judge panel did not issue an immediate decision, but it should come very soon since registration for running for those seats start in a few weeks. All three judges opposed the GOP drawn maps.

    On a side note, the guy saying they tried to get 11 of 13 seats safely Republican reminded me of Trump. “I tried for 11, but just couldn’t get there”.

    • Raan

      He tried to move on North Carolina’s voters like bitches.

    • Beelzebubba

      They had the map drawn up well in advance – the same guy who did the ratfucking math for the GOP was named as the “consultant” to the legislature’s redistricting committee. Cut, paste, and voilá: the committee has a map. The lege rubber-stamps the GOP-devised map, with zero Dem votes, and the fuckery is complete.

  • Bitter Scribe

    The Electoral College is the ultimate gerrymandering.

    [Editrix’s note: We asked your Five Dollar Feminist if SCOTUS could look at the Electoral College on that basis, and she said no, because the Electoral College is “in the Constitution.” Even though slavery was too.]

    Yeah, but slavery was taken out of the Constitution through a constitutional amendment. I don’t see that happening with the EC.

    • Raan

      At least, not soon.

      • LesBontemps

        If you do away with the Electoral College, what will people do after Electoral High School?

        • SisterArtemis

          Electoral Trade School, obvs. Or a job at Electoral Burgers & Shakes.

        • That would effectively put an end to electoral chorus and electoral film studies classes.

          • J. M. Tusks, Esq.

            But hey, no more Electoral Student Loans!

        • Raan

          Electoral Trade School?

    • Me not sure

      You could cure a lot of the electoral college’s problems with a Constitutional Amendment that allotted Senators on the basis of population with every state guaranteed one and no state having more than four. That would alleviate the imbalance that exists and could be doable in that most states would either stay the same or increase the number of Senators allotted to them. Since Senators are no longer appointed by states, that would make them more reflective of the will of the majority of the people.

      • toto

        There have been hundreds of unsuccessful proposed amendments to modify or abolish the Electoral College – more than any other subject of Constitutional reform.
        Your idea would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population.

        Instead, pragmatically, The National Popular Vote bill is 61% of the way to guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by states changing their state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), without changing anything in the Constitution, using the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes.

        All voters would be valued equally in presidential elections, no matter where they live.
        Candidates, as in other elections, would allocate their time, money, polling, organizing, and ad buys roughly in proportion to the population

        Every vote, everywhere, for every candidate, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election.
        No more distorting, crude, and divisive and red and blue state maps of predictable outcomes, that don’t represent any minority party voters within each state.
        No more handful of ‘battleground’ states (where the two major political parties happen to have similar levels of support) where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 38+ predictable states that have just been ‘spectators’ and ignored after the conventions.

        The bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes—270 of 538.
        All of the presidential electors from the enacting states will be supporters of the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes among all 50 states (and DC)—thereby guaranteeing that candidate with an Electoral College majority.

        The bill was approved in 2016 by a unanimous bipartisan House committee vote in both Georgia (16 electoral votes) and Missouri (10).
        Since 2006, the bill has passed 35 state legislative chambers in 23 rural, small, medium, large, red, blue, and purple states with 261 electoral votes.
        The bill has been enacted by 11 small, medium, and large jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the way to guaranteeing the presidency to the candidate with the most popular votes in the country

        NationalPopularVote

  • Lefty Wright

    While talking about the issue of one person, one vote, the democratically elected US Senate is the biggest oxymoron in political language. If any other country came up with a plan that created a legislative body that gave equal representation to a political/geographic unit of 600,000 people as they do a unit with almost 40 million, we would call it ridiculously unfair. In fact, U.S. states trying similar schemes (using county lines, not population for a senate) were overruled by the Supreme Court in the one person, one vote principle. Of course, only a constitutional amendment can change that. So it will never happen.

    • The deal comes from the historical fact that we didn’t start out as one single country, but rather thirteen small countries that banded together in common purpose. The whole “Connecticut Compromise” that led to our bicameral legislature was agreed on so that in the Senate each of the thirteen countries would be on equal footing, while in the House, influence would be based on population. Delaware and Rhode Island didn’t want to be rendered irrelevant compared to Virginia and New York, but it was clear that the bigger states, with more people, needed to have some greater representation.

      Yeah, it’s kind of clunky nowadays, but it’s still useful in our federated democracy. You want to give the states with more people a bigger say, but you don’t want a handful of states determining all national policy.

      • Hesavebread!

        At least your second chamber is elected, Westminster’s is hereditary or by appointment.

  • JaveyDay
  • Two things:

    Ratfucked districts devalue voters of both parties, since Republican voters are also taken for granted in safe districts and can’t successfully get the attention of their representatives under threat of staying home of voting differently next time around.

    Elections in districts heavily favouring either party are really only contestable during a primary, when you’re only competing for the voters of your own party. This has almost completely eliminated moderate candidates from elections and from legislative bodies, which has in turn has nearly eliminated the idea of bipartisan work – now, there are only two teams, the winners and the losers, and the losers can eat a dick.

    Liberal democracies have been remarkably stable for a couple of hundred years, because citizens know they can replace a government without bringing out the guillotines. What happens on this non-comment page, without the outlet of “WITH VOTES”?

  • canes_pugnaces

    Good luck. This case(s) will end up on the SCOTUS docket in the coming sessions. And thanks to the fuckwad bottom-feeding Turtle-man, McConnell, the SCOTUS is also gerrymandered.

    • AnnieGetYerFun

      Jesus, I never even thought of it that way. Fuck, I hate that guy so much.

    • SweetDeeKat

      YES BUT it’s a pretty solid decision. The bad faith is a slam dunk, and the math is a fantastic basis.

    • Sunhead

      But as I understand it SCOTUS has had much more exposure to the mathematics of the map fuckery, in camera, to be able to prove that the districting is specifically designed to disenfranchise Democrat voters.
      Basically the map fuckers got way too scientific and computery about how they did it, so now it is quantifiable, testable and repeatable. SCOTUS may be stacked, but they hate more than anything to be lied to and treated like idjits, except Grosuch, he is an ignorant slut.

  • Walter Wellstone

    Fuck David Lewis. Fuck that motherfucker.

  • Me not sure

    The Republican Party does not believe in democracy and doesn’t want a majority ruled country, and many will tell you that right to your face, but howl loudly about trusting people to act rationally in an imaginary “free market economy”.

    • 🛶🗣️ Mr Canoehead 🛶🗣️

      One dollar, one vote.

  • Angela Ruzzo

    I said this once or twice before, but we learned about the perils of gerrymandering in my 8th grade Civics class in 1969. That was FORTY-EIGHT YEARS AGO, and what we learned was that gerrymandering has been going on forever in this country, and it was about time it stopped. Our teacher, Mr. Chronister, was a conservative Nixon supporter, and even he thought gerrymandering was bad. It should be clear to everyone after 250+ years of gerrymandering bullshit that you cannot trust any state legislature to design voting districts.

    • Just Noh

      so, to kinda parallel tusks’ point above, to fix that we need an amendment (hopefully not an amendment) like the 17th. if state legislatures aren’t fit to elect senators, then they should be bypassed for districting as well.

  • Ωbjectifier

    As for the electoral college, some states are winner take all while others are apportioned based on votes. Isn’t that kind of the same issue?

    • Ray in VT

      There have been moves by conservatives in some blue states to move towards apportionment, surely for not at all partisan reasons.

    • toto

      48 states are winner-take-all.

      No state is proportional.

      Maine (since enacting a state law in 1969) and Nebraska (since enacting a state law in 1992) have awarded one electoral vote to the winner of each congressional district, and two electoral votes statewide.

      77% of Maine voters and 74% of Nebraska voters have supported a national popular vote.

      Nebraska in 2008 was the first time any state in the past century gave one electoral vote to the candidate who did not win the state.

      2016 is the first time an electoral vote in Maine was given to the candidate who did not win the state.

      In Maine, the closely divided 2nd congressional district received campaign events in 2008 (whereas Maine’s 1st reliably Democratic district was ignored).
      In 2012, the whole state was ignored.
      77% of Maine voters have supported a national popular vote for President
      In 2008, the Maine Senate passed the National Popular Vote bill

      Republican leaders in Maine proposed and passed a constitutional amendment that, if passed at referendum, would require a 2/3rds vote in all future redistricting decisions. Then they changed their minds and wanted to pass a majority-only plan to make redistricting in their favor even easier.

      In Nebraska, the 2008 presidential campaigns did not pay the slightest attention to the people of Nebraska’s reliably Republican 1st and 3rd congressional districts because it was a foregone conclusion that McCain would win the most popular votes in both of those districts. The issues relevant to voters of the 2nd district (the Omaha area) mattered, while the (very different) issues relevant to the remaining (mostly rural) 2/3rds of the state were irrelevant.
      In 2012, the whole state was ignored.
      74% of Nebraska voters have supported a national popular vote for President

      After Obama won 1 congressional district in Nebraska in 2008,Nebraska Republicans moved that district to make it more Republican to avoid another GOP loss there, and the leadership committee of the Nebraska Republican Party promptly adopted a resolution requiring all GOP elected officials to favor overturning their district method for awarding electoral votes or lose the party’s support.
      A GOP push to return Nebraska to a winner-take-all system of awarding its electoral college votes for president only barely failed in March 2015 and April 2016.

      The National Popular Vote bill is the way to make every person’s vote equal and matter to their candidate because it guarantees that the candidate who gets the most votes among all 50 states and DC becomes President.

    • toto

      Maine (since enacting a state law in 1969) and Nebraska (since enacting a state law in 1992) have awarded one electoral vote to the winner of each congressional district, and two electoral votes statewide.

      77% of Maine voters and 74% of Nebraska voters have supported a national popular vote.

      Nebraska in 2008 was the first time any state in the past century gave one electoral vote to the candidate who did not win the state.

      2016 is the first time an electoral vote in Maine was given to the candidate who did not win the state.

    • toto

      There are good reasons why no state awards their electors proportionally.

      Although the whole-number proportional approach might initially seem to offer the possibility of making every voter in every state relevant in presidential elections, it would not do this in practice.

      The whole number proportional system sharply increases the odds of no candidate getting the majority of electoral votes needed, leading to the selection of the president by the U.S. House of Representatives, regardless of the popular vote anywhere.

      It would not accurately reflect the nationwide popular vote;

      It would reduce the influence of any state, if not all states adopted.

      It would not improve upon the current situation in which four out of five states and four out of five voters in the United States are ignored by presidential campaigns, but instead, would create a very small set of states in which only one electoral vote is in play (while making most states politically irrelevant),

      It would not make every vote equal.

      It would not guarantee the Presidency to the candidate with the most popular votes in the country.

      The National Popular Vote bill is the way to make every person’s vote equal and matter to their candidate because it guarantees the majority of Electoral College votes to the candidate who gets the most votes among all 50 states and DC.

  • J. M. Tusks, Esq.

    Re: Electoral College, SCOTUS can’t say something in the Constitution is unconstitutional. The Constitution only changes via amendment (like it did with slavery).

    • LeighBowery’sLuxuryComedy

      Meaning we need someone to start introducing an amendment that would abolish (or – ?? law types, is there a better alternative?) the Electoral College, and keep at it until it grows legs and marches all across the land.

      • J. M. Tusks, Esq.

        It could be fixed simply by weighting the votes proportionally. But it could be a moot point given that constitutional amendments need to be ratified by the states, and states are predominately run by Republicans. Why would they vote to un-fuck the system that fucks in their favor?

        They’re phenomenally hard to pass in any case. The last one was in 1992 and it concerned how Congress paid itself (which, who cares?) but the last one of any consequence to the Republic was in 1971, which lowered the voting age to 18.

        • toto

          The National Popular Vote bill is 61% of the way to guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by states changing their state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), without changing anything in the Constitution, using the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes.

          All voters would be valued equally in presidential elections, no matter where they live.

      • Here’s the secret: The Constitution specifies that there must be an Electoral College, but it doesn’t specify how a state should choose its electors. While most states do the “winner take all” thing, Maine and Nebraska divide them up by Congressional district. Several states have joined the National Popular Vote Compact, in which they all agree that once enough states have joined to bring their collective total of electoral votes to the 270 required to win, they will all AUTOMATICALLY give their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. The NPVC will definitely have some legal challenges should it take effect, but you get the idea.

        • toto

          There is nothing in the Constitution that prevents states from making the decision now that winning the national popular vote and the Electoral College is required to win the presidency.

    • Red Bird

      Convention of States?

      • toto

        The National Popular Vote bill is states replacing their state winner-take-all laws that award all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who get the most popular votes in each separate state (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), in the enacting states, to guarantee the majority of Electoral College votes for, and the Presidency to, the candidate getting the most popular votes in the entire United States.

        The bill retains the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections, and uses the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes. It ensures that every voter is equal, every voter will matter, in every state, in every presidential election, and the candidate with the most votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

        Every voter, everywhere, for every candidate, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would matter equally in the state counts and national count.

        The bill would take effect when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—270 of 538.
        All of the presidential electors from the enacting states will be supporters of the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes among all 50 states (and DC)—thereby guaranteeing that candidate with an Electoral College majority.

    • toto

      The U.S. Constitution says “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . .”
      The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as “plenary” and “exclusive.”

      The normal way of changing the method of electing the President is not a federal constitutional amendment, but changes in state law.

      Historically, major changes in the method of electing the President have come about by state legislative action. For example, the people had no vote for President in most states in the nation’s first election in 1789. However, now, as a result of changes in the state laws governing the appointment of presidential electors, the people have the right to vote for presidential electors in 100% of the states.

      In 1789, only 3 states used the winner-take-all method (awarding all of a state’s electoral vote to the candidate who gets the most votes in the state). However, as a result of changes in state laws, the winner-take-all method is now currently used by 48 of the 50 states.

      In 1789, it was necessary to own a substantial amount of property in order to vote; however, as a result of changes in state laws, there are now no property requirements for voting in any state.

      In other words, neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, that the voters may vote and the winner-take-all method) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation’s first presidential election.

      The normal process of effecting change in the method of electing the President is specified in the U.S. Constitution, namely action by the state legislatures. This is how the current system was created, and this is the built-in method that the Constitution provides for making changes. The abnormal process is to go outside the Constitution, and amend it.

      The National Popular Vote bill is 61% of the way to guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency in 2020 to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by changing state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), without changing anything in the Constitution, using the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes.

      All voters would be valued equally in presidential elections, no matter where they live.

  • Bemused

    Isn’t SCOTUS’s current position that the states determine voting in their state? Wouldn’t they just let the lower court verdict stand?

    • J. M. Tusks, Esq.

      Action by the a State can’t violate the U.S. Constitution. States have areas within their purview that the federal government leaves alone, but this isn’t one of them. At least according to these courts.

      • Bemused

        So is it more a consideration of the 1st amendment issue, then?

        • J. M. Tusks, Esq.

          First Amendment and Equal Protection. States can run their voting systems how they like as long as they comply with the overarching federal rules, such as the Constitution.

          • Bemused

            Thanks for explaining.

    • puredog

      Lower court verdict is a federal court, so, no.

  • puredog

    “We would not be FOR SHOCKED to see the Supreme Court take it directly. . .”
    Um — that’s how this kind of case works; goes before three-judge panel; appeal if any is directly to the S.Ct. (Although I’ll admit I do not know whether review is “of right” or discretionary like certiorari.)

    • Fivedollarfeminist

      Oh, shit! You’re totally right! I was thinking 4th Circuit, but NO. My bad!

    • Beelzebubba

      The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit would normally get first dibs, unless SCOTUS grants a writ of certiorari.

      • I’m having certiorari alfredo for supper with a side of Republican toast.

  • marxalot

    “Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 53” sounds like some Judge Dredd shit if you say it in the right voice. Especially since it provides for a “Special Master.”

    • Rooster Cogburn105

      Is there a safe word for the “Special Master?”

  • toto

    Note: The National Popular Vote bill is 61% of the way to guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by states changing their state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), without changing anything in the Constitution, using the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes.

    All voters would be valued equally in presidential elections, no matter where they live.
    Candidates, as in other elections, would allocate their time, money, polling, organizing, and ad buys roughly in proportion to the population

    Every vote, everywhere, for every candidate, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election.
    No more distorting, crude, and divisive and red and blue state maps of predictable outcomes, that don’t represent any minority party voters within each state.
    No more handful of ‘battleground’ states (where the two major political parties happen to have similar levels of support) where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 38+ predictable states that have just been ‘spectators’ and ignored after the conventions.

    The bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes—270 of 538.
    All of the presidential electors from the enacting states will be supporters of the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes among all 50 states (and DC)—thereby guaranteeing that candidate with an Electoral College majority.

    The bill was approved in 2016 by a unanimous bipartisan House committee vote in both Georgia (16 electoral votes) and Missouri (10).
    Since 2006, the bill has passed 35 state legislative chambers in 23 rural, small, medium, large, red, blue, and purple states with 261 electoral votes.
    The bill has been enacted by 11 small, medium, and large jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the way to guaranteeing the presidency to the candidate with the most popular votes in the country

    NationalPopularVote

  • Mentally Stable Ron

    There is a VERY easy solution to this problem, one that works long-range, one that is generally reliable and has a proven track record for producing fair voting districts:
    A NON-FREAKIN’-PARTISAN ELECTION COMMISSION.
    Of course, nobody’s gonna go for it, because non-partisan. But by Grabthar’s Hammer, how did you lot get into this mess in the first place? It’s not it wasn’t 100% predictable.

    • Sekhmet1

      You need your own version of the Australian (and its corresponding state and territory) Electoral Commission. But yeah, the day Repugnicans support something like that is likely to be the day hell freezes over.

      • CrazyDogLady

        We;ve got the same in NZ. But our (and most commonwealth countries’) government agencies are non-partisan from top to bottom, whereas in Americania management down to a fairly low level are all partisan appointments.

        • george lastrapes

          Sounds like a Deep State– you know, competent public servants. Here in the USA we’ve got Deep Lorables.

          • Hesavebread!

            Pretty much any ex-Commonwealth country or EU country has a non-partisan boundary commission. I have had a quick look online at various EU countries and there was no district that stood out as very oddly shaped like that one in Ohio above.

        • Sekhmet1

          Yeah. It staggers me that rather than simply appointing the most eminent and skilled jurists (or at least, saying that’s what they are) to superior court positions, a president can say outright he’s choosing a justice with a particular ideological bent such as someone who is anti-LGBT and/or anti-choice and that’s okay to some people. I concede that on our superior court benches (such as my state’s Court of Appeal) there’s still a fair bit of white conservative cis het man syndrome in the way some issues are approached, but generally the judges here do a pretty good job of concealing whatever their political beliefs are and focusing on the legal issues.

          I also find the idea of voting for DAs and lower court judges bizarre too.

      • sgt. jmk of the résistance

        May we borrow your Electoral Commission? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease?

    • Stulexington

      Except decades of political polarization means there’s not a lot of non-partisans with the clout to do the job.

  • Gorillionaire

    THANK YOU 5$ and Wonkette for giving attention to this. Some of us down here in NC have been spoiling for this for a long time.

  • hendenburg2

    Nah, my money is on Barron moving to a kibbutz

  • Sekhmet1

    Stories like this make me grateful for my country’s Electoral Commission. It has its flaws, but at least electoral boundaries are not determined by whichever party is in power.

    • Hesavebread!

      Oh hell yes.

  • Jonny On Maui

    If you can’t win based on the strength of your arguments, lie, cheat and steal.

    GOP tenet #1

  • And yet again we witness the last gasps for air by a dying party.

    The white male conservative movie is in its final act.

    #resistandpersist

    • Natalie Au Natural Hedonist

      Die already! Republican party of Putin. (not the people, just the party. With votes, in case I was a bad girl.)

  • Fancy Meau-Faux

    Reading that sentence above about the Equal Protection Clause: “If my vote is worth less than yours, then we are not equal in the eyes of the law.” Got me thinking that an argument could be made that the Electoral College also violates the Equal Protection Clause, as a voter in North Dakota has a vote that is of much greater worth than a voter in California.

    • toto

      The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment only restricts a given state in the manner it treats persons “within its jurisdiction.” The Equal Protection Clause imposes no obligation on a given state concerning a “person” in another state who is not “within its [the first state’s] jurisdiction.”

    • toto

      The National Popular Vote bill is 61% of the way to guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by states changing their state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), without changing anything in the Constitution, using the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes.

      All voters would be valued equally in presidential elections, no matter where they live.

      The bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes—270 of 538.
      All of the presidential electors from the enacting states will be supporters of the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes among all 50 states (and DC)—thereby guaranteeing that candidate with an Electoral College majority.

  • ibwilliamsi

    NC is messed up. The minority R voters truly believe that they hold the majority and can mandate morality to the rest of us. Rs love the stupid down here.

    • Toledo Window Box

      Worked in South Africa. For a while.

  • Ducksworthy
    • President in Exile Firefly

      And he’s got a prison in his district. Inmates can’t vote but they count in the enumeration.

    • Sunhead

      Yep.
      If you look at a district and your first thought is ‘Dafuq?!’ then it has probably been gerrymandered and that one… is not the most egregious I have seen, but it seems pretty damn obvious that it is.

      • george lastrapes

        A seahorse? Woodpecker? Lava flow?

      • ExecutorElassus

        I remember some candidate (in Chicago?) showing what her district looked like, and it was staggering. The boundary would specifically cut out specific buildings along its edge — because people who live in apartments are generally poorer, thus vote D — in order to deliver a Republican majority in a state whose population was mostly Democrat.
        The US voting system is (almost) hopelessly fucked. I hope SCOTUS fixes it, because it would deliver an almost-permanent Democratic majority nationwide virtually overnight.

    • IHaveThoughts

      Is it just me, or does that district kinda look like Trogdor? Although I guess it makes sense, since the GOP motto is basically “burninate the peasants.” https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/edaf0b8c550f2e5010bf70ca99db324375298e726edcc6eaf06798cb9f51fcd5.png

  • The Very Stable Librarian

    I’m crossing my toes, too.

  • motmelere

    Wisconsin republicans signed NDAs and invoked attorney-client privilege when they fucked our maps; they did such a fine job that some people literally couldn’t tell which district they were in.

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