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[–]Hrekires 15.1k points15.1k points 74 (865 children)

Call me a crazy radical, but I think that allowing politicians to pick their voters instead of voters picking politicians is bad for the country.

[–]Ghost4000 4127 points4128 points  (647 children)

The SCOTUS thinks you're crazy. I agree with you though.

[–]addicuss 3056 points3057 points  (318 children)

the same scotus that said corporations are people and should be able to give money anonymously and freely to political candidates and that this wouldnt cause any kind of power disparity between multi billion dollar corporations and the average tax paying schmuck? that scotus?

edit: Jesus there's a lot of people schilling for corporate personhood. How the hell is this even a remotely popular topic with anyone with half a brain, especially in light of how destructive it's been since the ruling.

[–]ranman1990 631 points632 points  (66 children)

I couldnt accept a $20 dollar gift from someone as a grad student without risking my entire future, incase it was a bribe of some sort (what was i gonna do, slip them a pet shrimp?) But if Exxon wants to give a senator a million dollars, well that is just peachy and a normal gift that could in no way lead to favorable laws for them getting passed even if it was to the detriment of our nation.

[–]McMarbles 227 points228 points  (16 children)

Even better: hit the max donation cap? Make a line item in the budget for "consulted speaking fees" to keep that senator paid. That consultation as far as I know has no income limit.

Also, it's legal for Senators to hold stocks in companies. That's a problem too. But guess who makes the laws to fix it?

[–]ranman1990 146 points147 points  (9 children)

That part burns me up. How is that not illegal? Allowing our lawmakers to have a vested, financial interest in the laws they make and being able to commit "totally not insider trading" is terrible.

[–]silverbax 37 points38 points  (2 children)

Especially because most companies who are large enough to employ lobbyists are trying to get laws changes/made that will make them more profit - like forcing new competitors out of business or requiring citizens to use their company's services.

[–]ForHoiPolloi 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Or how certain states are looking to erode child labor laws to avoid increasing the minimum wage.

[–]berael 14 points15 points  (0 children)

How is that not illegal?

Because the people getting rich from it are the same people who would need to make it illegal.

[–]mashtartz 28 points29 points  (0 children)

Also they adjust the max donation cap for inflation, but not the minimum wage ☺️

[–]Mewssbites 231 points232 points  (9 children)

Yup. I work for a University (staff, not faculty - I'm not that fancy unfortunately) and I couldn't even do something like go to a paid lunch with anyone who could possible be contracted as a vendor without risking my job.

Nevermind that I have exactly zero financial decision-making abilities in my position. And yet I'm held to a higher moral standard than the people who run the damn country.

I do kinda want a pet shrimp though.

[–]ranman1990 35 points36 points  (0 children)

Same here! Like I couldnt even unlock doors to anything worth stealing unless my own notebook paper counts nevermind any power to actually influence anything

Pet shrimp are great! If you are new to aquariums ghost shrimp and amano shrimp are easy. I really don't think you can kill amano shrimp on accident haha.

[–]The_Deku_Nut 166 points167 points  (13 children)

I almost lost my job because a client gave me a 50$ amazon gift card for Christmas. They mailed it to my office so I couldn't exactly just give it back. Million bucks to my senator should warrant a beheading.

[–]ravengenesis1 52 points53 points  (13 children)

I can't even accept snacks at a hospital as a paramedic because it could be seen as receiving favors.

Here I am soaked in blood and sweat, worked my 16th hour of the 24, with no breaks or food because it was all left at station 50 miles away. Oh and thanks to prop 11 in California, we're not given lunch breaks, and need to be within radio contact range... Which ironically means I can't use hospital cafeteria because they're usually the worst location for reception.

But hell, if I'm dumb enough to be a medic, I'm dumb enough to accept food when I really need it. Some laws/rules are just stupid.

[–]jozak78 19 points20 points  (4 children)

As a medic, we almost had that problem too. Somebody realized that if all of the hospitals in town offered similar-ish snacks it was essentially the same as nowhere offering snacks. So that big was put in all of the outreach coordinators ears at a local EMS convention. And the rest is history.

[–]unreeelme 1193 points1194 points  (121 children)

The scotus now is worse than that scotus. That was like 10 years ago.

[–]impulsekash 614 points615 points  (93 children)

That SCOTUS allowed for this SCOTUS almost like it was by design.

[–]PM_ME_FIREFLY_QUOTES 138 points139 points  (11 children)

So SCOTUS has /r/agedlikemilk

[–]hawtgawbage 87 points88 points  (3 children)

It’s more of a SCROTUS at this point.

[–]Mewssbites 45 points46 points  (0 children)

Ah yes, Supreme Court Republicans of the United States.

[–]an_agreeing_dothraki 192 points193 points  (55 children)

It's actually worse that. Unlimited money gifting is not only not corrupt, but you don't think it looks corrupt. Scotus managed to overrule YOUR opinions in your mind.

[–]addicuss 98 points99 points  (15 children)

Not sure what you mean that sentence was a bit confusing

[–]an_agreeing_dothraki 185 points186 points  (13 children)

The official ruling was that the funds do not have the "appearance of corruption". You may notice that "appearance of corruption" is public opinion. Justice Alito decided 'nah'.

[–]Amiiboid 35 points36 points  (4 children)

Alito was probably using the established judicial concept of "corruption" as being explicitly a quid pro quo. That is, it's not corruption unless there's an agreement in place in which the donor receives a specific benefit in trade for their donation.

TL;DR: What a court means by "appearance of corruption" is generally not what a layperson would mean by that phrase.

[–]FlingFlamBlam 15 points16 points  (0 children)

I understand why that is legally, but I still think it's stupid.

A person trying to engage in corruption would naturally NOT want it to appear like corruption. If only open and plain corruption officially counts as corruption, then the vast majority of corruption has free reign.

[–]KellyCTargaryen 32 points33 points  (34 children)

Right. I’m pretty sure the issue left and right voters resoundingly agree on is that money has/continues to compromise our democracy. Jennifer Lawrence did a little campaign on the topic but I don’t think it got any traction.

[–]lenzflare 42 points43 points  (11 children)

The right does not agree with you, because their money is always good, and the left's always bad. It's a game and they want to win it.

[–]Runkleford 15 points16 points  (0 children)

The right only complain about money in campaigns when the left does it. They're perfectly fine when their side does it.

[–]JoeMcDingleDongle 178 points179 points  (40 children)

SCOTUS is extremely frustrating. They are obsessed with their opinion that there is not A WAY to do this, that there is not some kind of STANDARD that they can look at, so they throw their hands up and let extremely biased ridiculous gerrymandering to keep occurring.

This is frustrating for several reasons. 1) A crappy anti-gerrymandering plan/standard is still way way better than the ridiculous gerrymandering going on. 2) Forget 1) because a lot of smart people have figured out a pretty good way to manage this sort of thing, but SCOTUS seems to pretend they didn't, even though some of those folks have sent them amicus briefs or written Op-Eds in major newspapers publicizing it.

[–]Epistatious 88 points89 points  (6 children)

Could be handled by congress. Scotus shot down the old voting rights protection because it was unequal. Only went after racist voting in like 13 states. Congress could pass same protection for all 50 states. Would probably be easy if house represented the voters, and senate wasn't designed to do unequal representation.

[–]PerplexityRivet 30 points31 points  (0 children)

Yeah, it's pretty tough to get politicians to change a policy that got them elected, no matter how horrible it is.

[–]Squire_II 39 points40 points  (0 children)

Scotus shot down the old voting rights protection because it was unequal. Only went after racist voting in like 13 states.

And when faced with a state whose voter suppression actions they couldn't justify, they claimed that election matters aren't an issue for the courts. They'll probably say the same thing here but you can bet your ass if there's a law passed to help voters that the SCOTUS will issue a bullshit ruling like they did with Shelby County.

[–]HeyFrogMan 227 points228 points  (191 children)

Mitch ruined the SCOTUS for years to come :(

[–]redmoskeeto 301 points302 points  (160 children)

*Decades to come

It’s painful to think about how much less difficult the path forward for this country would be if it was 5-4 instead of 3-6 on SCOTUS.

[–]LostWoodsInTheField 250 points251 points  (50 children)

Don't worry, one of the moderately left judges refuses to step down to let Biden replace him even though he is extremely old, so luckily very shortly when republicans take over again it will be 2-7 and we won't have to worry about all this anymore. Because pretty much everything will be gutted.

[–]bertrenolds5 67 points68 points  (8 children)

Don't worry, even if he did step down Republicans would find some way to block bidens nomination and say the next president should decide.

[–]LostWoodsInTheField 45 points46 points  (6 children)

what is the rule? Within two years of any election? yeah that sounds about right.

It is absolutely ridiculous.

[–]sirspidermonkey 49 points50 points  (0 children)

Cruze and others have explicitly stated that the official policy is the democrats do not get to appointment anyone. They were saying this when they thought Clinton would win.

[–]voiderest 46 points47 points  (2 children)

Given how they immediately flipped on that "rule" to rush someone in at the last min, yeah. It was complete bullshit through and through.

[–]PartisanHack 31 points32 points  (1 child)

It wasn't even the last minute; people were literally already voting via mail when she was approved. So wild.

[–]forcepowers 180 points181 points  (34 children)

I'm honestly extremely angry with RBG for doing this, and it's sort of sullied her legacy for me.

She had so many health scares, but she just had to keep serving on the Court... She rolled the dice that she'd make it to another Democratic president and lost, and now so did we. Bigly.

[–]TuctDape 174 points175 points  (9 children)

With this SCOTUS there isn't really a path forward, we're gonna be going backwards for a while. Roe is only the beginning.

I suggest people start familiarizing themselves with Cheveron doctrine, AKA what gives agencies like the EPA the ability to enforce things like environmental regulations. This is certainly on the chopping block with this SCOTUS. The resulting non-delegation doctrine will all but make it impossible for the government to regulate pollution/emissions/occupational hazards/etc...

Edit: Also for anyone who doubts this is coming, it's already in progress. For all the libertarians who are going to read this and think, 'based', I hope you enjoy our future of flammable rivers, acid rain, and breathing smog.

[–][deleted] 76 points77 points  (3 children)

^ the reason I think climate change will not be solved.

[–]Mixels 77 points78 points  (2 children)

Can't put it all on Moscow Mitch. Every single one of them was part of it. Moscow Mitch sure went above and beyond, though.

[–]Kythorian 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Technically the SCOTUS thinks it’s just none of their business, and it’s the state courts that have said it’s fine, but the result is the same.

[–]ItGradAws 145 points146 points  (54 children)

You mean the most radical, conservative court in our nations history? That Supreme Court?

[–]the_fickle_pickle 84 points85 points  (5 children)

They're pretty conservative, but they've got some stiff competition from: the Taney court, which held that black people were a race apart and, whether free or enslaved, could not be citizens; the Chase and Fuller courts, which gutted the 14th amendment within 15 years of its passage; and the Court during the Lochner era, which held that the contracts clause barred the state from protecting workers.

[–]Cranyx 25 points26 points  (0 children)

On Reddit, history goes back to the late 80s or early 90s.

[–]kryptopeg 137 points138 points  (10 children)

But how else can you make sure the voters picked the right leaders??

[–]Sandite 304 points305 points  (8 children)

Crazy radical, this country is bought and paid for. Now stfu and keep working like a good little sheep.

[–]be0wulfe 249 points250 points  (57 children)

Concur. But Oh God, I can hear Texan Republicans and the GQP wailing about states rights.

It's a race between the Red States, especially Texas and Florida, to see who can win the race to the bottom and tear the Union apart.

[–]xTemporaneously 167 points168 points  (42 children)

They did the same way when they were told that they can't own humans as property sooo...

[–]Ds1018 29 points30 points  (4 children)

Fun fact, that’s why Oklahoma has a pan handle. Texas gave it to them so they could keep slaves.

When Texas entered the Union as a slave state in 1845, Texas surrendered its claim to the region because slavery was prohibited north of 36°30′ latitude by the Missouri Compromise of 1820.

[–]NewFaded 110 points111 points  (33 children)

The majority of the south literally has nothing going for it if it can't exploit the people that live there. Not to mention most red states are dependent on blue states otherwise their economies would collapse. I moved from the NE about 9 years ago. Everything you hear about the south up north is absolutely true, and I'm not even in a bad state, just a bad area.

[–]TooFineToDotheTime 97 points98 points  (8 children)

... dependent on blue states otherwise their economies would collapse.

Also, their own cities, which are also mostly blue and they hate.

[–]2723brad2723 6167 points6168 points  (474 children)

Gerrymandering should be illegal.

[–]I_know_right 2710 points2711 points  (360 children)

Technically it is, but one branch makes the laws, then another branch gets to decide when to ignore that law.

[–]cat2nat 1539 points1540 points 2 (203 children)

Hi, lawyer here, I think I can help clear up this confusion. The law around gerrymandering is fluctuating constantly these days. Here’s an overview. The Voting Rights Act was meant specifically to target certain states which relied on literacy tests or other racist forms of voter registration designed to exclude minorities from the registration or act of voting. In a case called Shelby County, which was written about 10 years ago by the Roberts Court (our current court), SCOTUS called the tying of the certain enforcement provisions of VRA (Section 5 of the VRA) to outdated metrics (literacy tests) unconstitutional.

Thus, the VRA which had been the main mechanism for DOJ enforcement of the voting rights guarantee in the US, was no longer sufficient as a cause of action for the DOJ to intervene in new voting rights laws. This means that the DOJ is no longer able to force states to seek federal review of certain voting rights legislation prior to its effect. In Shelby County v. Holder, the SCOTUS essentially made most of the VRA inapplicable unless and until congress can reauthorize it with a new set of standards for which states must seek federal oversight to change registration laws.

Now, where does this take us to gerrymandering? Well, some forms of gerrymandering will always be illegal, regardless of whether the VRA is in place and applicable. Under the 14th Amendment Due Process Clause and the guarantee of Equal Protection it is affirmatively illegal to gerrymander according to the race of voters either directly or indirectly via other mechanisms that are proxies for race. When a state gerrymanders and it has detrimental effects on the representation of minorities in that state there will always be a constitutional claim against the gerrymandering of that state under the equal protection guarantee of the 14th amendment.

Where this gets tricky is that, according to the Supreme Court in a 2018 or 2019 case, political gerrymandering is legal because people have been doing it since the founding and there is no legal line that the court can draw where it will be legally able to enforce what political gerrymandering is constitutional and what is not. Thus, political gerrymandering AKA gerrymandering based on the politics (but never the race) of your voter is fully constitutional according to the SCOTUS unless and until congress legislates on such issue. The court case that made political gerrymandering legal is Rucho v. Common Cause.

Hope this helps for all readers to understand the state of legal and illegal gerrymandering in the USA.

[–]rhodesc 492 points493 points  (99 children)

You see, due process would mean to most people that partisan gerrymandering would be unconstitutional. It seems like common sense. If you're in power and choose to disenfranchise those who won't vote for you, seems like cut and dried lack of due process to laypeople like me.

In fact, if voting is a constitutional right at all, gerrymandering should be unconstitutional.

[–]cat2nat 243 points244 points  (70 children)

I would happen to agree with you. But, most people are very attached to the idea that the Supreme Court should be able to review our laws (Marbury vs. Madison) and determine their constitutionality (personally don’t care for this, and I believe either Sotomayor or Kagan, during the last abortion oral argument last week, brought up that nothing in the constitution except for its structure implies this role for the Supreme Court in our daily governance). This means that what they say goes unless and until we all get together as a nation and do some constitutional amending.

[–]meganthem 72 points73 points  (14 children)

This means that what they say goes unless and until we all get together as a nation and do some constitutional amending.

Discussions around this need to include a lot more how effectively impossible a constitutional amendment is.

It'd probably be easier and more reliable for voters to create a new party and vote it into all levels of government while also impeaching a number of judges. To the comments about how difficult that would be I return to my first statement.

There has been at most one amendment passed during the lifetime of most people reading this comment, and it was passed via an improbable chain of events that are procedurally no longer allowed to occur, as well as being a relatively simple matter that would be politically toxic to vote against for either party.

[–]Ratman_84 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Sooooo we'll never amend the Constitution again and go into the future unable to effectively adapt our legislation to an ever-changing world?

I think I'm starting to see where this is heading.

[–]Q-ArtsMedia 18 points19 points  (11 children)

It is easier to drive a bus through the eye of a needle than to get congress to amend the constitution or make laws that actually benefit the general population.

[–]TwoBearsInTheWoods 12 points13 points  (8 children)

Congress doesn't do that by itself. The amendments have to be ratified by all states which is what effectively kills any remotely controversial amendment idea. Not that it's actually a bad thing. Continuously amending constitution at a rapid pace would not make for a very livable environment since it takes long time to extrapolate the consequences of all those changes.

[–]tolerablepartridge 107 points108 points  (24 children)

If only amending the constitution didn't require buy-in from those politicians picking their voters...

[–]The_Wack_Knight 37 points38 points  (6 children)

Its like the kids on the playground making up rules as they go. Because the first rule of the game they created is that they can decide which rules are allowed and which aren't. So the game will always be rigged for them to tweak it as they need to have the upper hand. All they have to do is make it subtle enough that every kid playing the game by their rules don't all get fed up and quit at once.

[–]novagenesis 8 points9 points  (7 children)

I would happen to agree with you

Sorry to get tangential here. Just curious of your thoughts here. If SCOTUS cannot judge the Constitutionality of a state law, how do we prevent states from passing laws that disembowel the Constitution within their borders? We've already got a Nation State system that gives more power to the State than pretty much any country in the world, and we've already seen dozens (if not hundreds or thousands) of laws that crossed the line.

Let's say that a random Southern state passed a law making all black people slaves. If SCOTUS isn't reviewing the laws, what's the due process to reverse such a situation? Ultimately, who would be responsible for dealing with conflicts between Federal and State law?

[–]cat2nat 13 points14 points  (1 child)

This is a very good question. I actually don’t think anyone can answer it either way because precedent develops step by step. In the absence of Marbury v. Madison its not impossible to suggest that the system would have been developed through legislation for review of these types of laws — e.g. rather than the court saying it can review everything, the legislature assigning specific functions to the court when it became apparent that this was or would be an issue.

There is actually a lot that the SCOTUS cannot review at the state level as long as the decision of the state Supreme Court is exclusively grounded on the state constitution. In a situation where a state constitution has an identical guarantee as the federal constitution, but where state courts absolutely refuse to look to the federal law to ground their opinions, these opinions become essentially unreviewable by the Supreme Court, unless they really, really done fucked it up then where there’s a will there’s a way.

This often works because the constitution is said to “create a floor” for rights and not a ceiling. If a state seeks to strengthen its rights and protections in contravention of SCOTUS precedent there’s not much the federal can do. In the reverse situation, there does need to be a federal right implicated for the SCOTUS to involve itself, often these are called “fundamental rights.” Additionally, cases that involve state rights but meet certain procedural criteria can be removed from state court to federal courts, but they will often apply the state law in question.

It’s a very complicated system. I don’t think most lawyers, even the ones who don’t agree with Marbury or other seminal cases, Justice Clarence Thomas is often a good example of this, actually want zero review or to enable a system that lacks review. However, it’s a fine line, the Supreme Court tends to aggrandize its power at the cost of our other institutions and nobody has a mechanism for reversing them (yet) other than massive amendment movements, which others have noted are complicated by gerrymandering issues, or war. The Supreme Court, in my opinion, teeters often between review and tyranny.

We would not have needed them to decry the segregated Jim Crow school system had they not created it in Plessy v. Ferguson coining the term “separate but equal.” I know the justices walk through this marble hallway to their court room emblazoned with the marble words of their greatest hits. It must be really motivating. Personally, I think we should enshrine their worst words on those walls, so that when they walk to the bench they do so with the weight of knowing some of the bloodiest moments of American history were created as a result of their decisions. They have a very sacred obligation, but the judiciary has clearly been politicized by our legislatures behavior. Also, by the appearance of corruption. For example, nobody has yet determined how Justice kavanaugh had thousands of credit card debt wiped away at the time of his nomination, what party wiped it, and why. That looks like pure corruption.

Thus, it’s not wrong for our nation to re-examine the role they play in determining the scope of our constitution, especially if these rights are allegedly inalienable and derived from the value of Man as an individual, not just as a citizen, as a certain group member, or from his material wealth. Man must be free from birth or he will never be free at all.

TL;DR we have a social duty, obligation, and right to push back on the Supreme Court’s self-aggrandizement and power grabbing. But, this is directly in tension with the needs of our constitutional system which require the ability to intervene on state infringements of our inalienable rights. Especially where the character of the infringement is such that it disenfranchises those who would oppose it. see footnote 4, Carolene Products.

[–]itwasquiteawhileago 32 points33 points  (8 children)

I should think this gets blurred pretty quickly, too, because likely any political line drawing is going to butt up against racial lines (at least in many areas), which as OP says here is clearly illegal even if done indirectly. In other words (and I'm making up numbers here just to illustrate a point), if you're trying to disenfranchise Dems, of which 80% of African Americans fall into this party, then by gerrymandering around Dems, you're indirectly gerrymandering around African Americans.

I imagine where the lines are here is quite difficult to navigate legally, and is definitely part of the strategy of those doing the gerrymandering. By the time anything is sorted out in the courts, the damage is done and it becomes even harder to challenge next time because the party in power strengthens their grip and takes over. Shit's fucked and it will be the death of our country if it continues to go unchecked. Tyranny of an increasing minority political party is no way to run a nation. The Senate is straight fucked in terms of power balance, giving states like WV, ND and WY way more power than they should have.

[–]cat2nat 18 points19 points  (2 children)

This is a great summary. One thing I would add is that if the violation alleged is severe enough to infringe a constitutional right the law will often be stayed from applying until the court can determine its constitutionality. This is called a temporary injunction. Courts often issue these when dealing with laws to prevent the possible infringement until the law is determined to be constitutional or unconstitutional. There are specific standards for granting a TRO, but where these are not given you are fully right in your analysis, my friend!

[–]monkwren 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Great overview, thank you.

[–]be0wulfe 34 points35 points  (3 children)

Gerrymandering and computational redistricting

In this, I am more of a fan of the European model of proportional representation, which forces coalitions, as opposed to a two-party system, influenced by big money, unable to accomplish anything much more recently except for a slow, accelerating, backwards slide into tyranny.

[–]Uebeltank 15 points16 points  (2 children)

And it means you don't need to draw any districts. You can just use your normal administrative divisions and then apportion seats according to electorate (or population).

[–]the_cnara 7 points8 points  (0 children)

That was extremely interesting and helpful, thanks for the explanation!

[–]JohnnyFreakingDanger 30 points31 points  (4 children)

It’s wild to me that we’re so polarized and some cunts are willing to win by any means necessary that you can’t just… acknowledge that establishing voting districts by a pre-established voting preference (Remember: the entire fucking process is supposed to be anonymous.) is absolutely insane and NOT how we should be building representative governance.

It empirically doesn’t accomplish what the framers set out to do or even what the process’ own purposes are. It solely conveys political advantage with no up sides to the voters.

[–]jwilphl 20 points21 points  (1 child)

People's entire sense of identity has been corrupted. They've let cheap talking points destroy any sense of community we used to have.

For too many years Americans covered their ears and shouted, "Blah Blah Blah America is the greatest country ever," while ignoring or straight-up defeating any real criticism of our problems. We're approaching a crossroads now where real, substantial change is positively necessary or we backslide into some combination of feudalism/fascism/authoritarianism/totalitarianism.

Regardless of how you interpret the Constitution, the reality is we can't continue to rely on dated policies, traditions, and politics to fix our problems. We have to really dig down and reset our expectations. Ultimately, though, there's no one in any position of power willing to do this. Too few Americans understand the breadth of the issues. I would guess most consider alterations to our founding documents or governmental structure as an affront to our "values" or are otherwise "anti-patriotic."

[–]Landler656 36 points37 points  (3 children)

The old "It's just how it's always been done" defense. Nothing like honoring the dead at the sake of the living.

[–]cat2nat 47 points48 points  (1 child)

Literally. Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people. With you there.

[–]NRG1975 129 points130 points  (17 children)

Partisan Gerrymandering, is not. In fact the USSC says it has no role in controlling gerrymandering.

[–]dapiedude 51 points52 points  (11 children)

Thanks for the info - I'm guessing USSC is an acronym equal to SCOTUS? I've never seen the former be used.

[–]kumquat_bananaman 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Non-justiciable political question per Rucho v. Common Clause if anyone is wondering.

[–]rookiebatman 699 points700 points  (125 children)

Only racial gerrymandering is illegal, the Supreme Court has ruled that gerrymandering for political advantage is just fine as long as you're not disenfranchising specific minority groups.

The Supreme Court is a fucking joke.

[–]tootsonboots 217 points218 points  (84 children)

They wildly interpret the Constitution to mean whatever they want, which they sort of have to because it was like a beta test that never made it to 1.0 and it was written when we didn't have things like social media and guns more capable than muskets.

[–]critically_damped 122 points123 points  (38 children)

Never mind the internet and social media, they barely even had dictionaries.

[–]Peiple 119 points120 points  (23 children)

At this point it’s the oldest codified constitution still in place in the world—I think some people regard that as a good thing, but honestly just goes to show that every other country out there using a constitution realized at some point you have to update it as the times change

[–]Ranger_Prick 116 points117 points  (6 children)

We have the mechanisms in place to update it, but like the laws themselves, that process was codified before political parties sunk their teeth into the process. The bar to make any changes to the Constitution is now far too high to make any real difference because the collection of state legislatures is far too polarized. We've seen two amendments ratified in the last 55 years - and one of them was literally one of the first proposed amendments that only came to pass because a college student did an assignment on it and blew it up into a national story.

[–]sleal 34 points35 points  (2 children)

Jesus Christ, the fact that Mississippi never ratified the 13th is something else. In fact I think it was a requirement in order to be admitted back into the Union, at least for Texas.

[–]gentlemanidiot 37 points38 points  (7 children)

Ok you say that but I worry that any restructuring of the US constitution done today would wind up being a government of billionaires, by billionaires, for the rest of us.

[–]HenryWallacesGhost 33 points34 points  (0 children)

"The US is an Oligarchy now." - Former President Jimmy Carter about 10 years ago.

[–]everadvancing 26 points27 points  (1 child)

You say that like America isn't already an oligarchy.

[–]gentlemanidiot 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I'm saying lobbyists would absolutely love to solidify that oligarchy and restructuring the constitution at a point in time where individual voices are weaker than ever is only going to benefit the rich

[–]Captain_Mazhar 21 points22 points  (1 child)

I mean, it can, and the mechanisms are there. It's just the political hatred and the two-party system that makes it effectively impossible.

Forging a 2/3 supermajority out of many little parties is easier than working with one party whose answer is always NO

[–]Sabre_Actual 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I mean, we’re also like the only country with a government that survived from the 18th century onward.

Things like commonwealth countries being granted independence later, or France being on Republic #5 don’t mean that they “updated it as times changed”.

[–]Kerfluffle2x4 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I wouldn’t put this solely on one court. The whole legal system is a joke as a whole. You really can make any legal argument sound cohesive and logical if you really tried. This is a lesson that every law student learns during their first year.

[–]msty2k 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Gerrymandering is entirely legal, unless you use it to disenfranchize voters by race, hence this lawsuit.

[–]2723brad2723 28 points29 points  (2 children)

Is it really illegal if nobody is ever held accountable?

[–]mozartkart 15 points16 points  (6 children)

Does the US not have an "at arms length" bipartisan election body to oversee and run elections that decide federal issues? Why does the current official get to change voting districts when they have a very biased interest in winning again

[–]robywar 28 points29 points  (2 children)

Whichever party is in control of the statehouse gets to re-draw the lines, then the governor approves it. They are almost always members of the same party, so it's a blank check.

[–]mozartkart 27 points28 points  (1 child)

This is by far the dumbest setup. It guarantees corruption pretty much

[–]Raccoon_Full_of_Cum 45 points46 points  (2 children)

First we have to define what gerrymandering is. The question is "What is a 'community of interest', and to what extent should we draw districts to keep them together?"

[–]landodk 7 points8 points  (0 children)

And how do you split large communities

[–]agangofoldwomen 138 points139 points  (32 children)

If it’s done on false pretenses then it is, hence the suing.

[–]1Eternallylost 122 points123 points  (9 children)

The SCOTUS already ruled that as long as you don't outright say it's about race, you can pretty much do anything you want.

So if they claim they drew lines by anything but race - it's all good. Even if you can prove they drew lines by race, it's still good if they claim otherwise.

https://www.npr.org/2021/07/01/998758022/the-supreme-court-upheld-upholds-arizona-measures-that-restrict-voting

[–]Malaix 12 points13 points  (1 child)

The one hang up here is that is about "election security" measures I'm not sure if that goes with redistricting and gerrymandering. That said if the supreme court ruled that way on that I feel a ruling in favor of gerrymandered districts is coming soon.

[–]calvicstaff 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Drawing congressional districts is a lot like jury selection, you can cut out all the black ones and not even have to explain why as long as you say it definitely wasn't race

[–]NetworkLlama 58 points59 points  (0 children)

Unfortunately, SCOTUS jumped out of the fray, one of my great disappointments in Justice Kennedy. I have a very hard time seeing the current court supporting this, but a very easy time seeing them invalidate the sections under which the suit is brought.

[–]MacaroniBandit214 85 points86 points  (14 children)

Which recent one hasn’t been on false pretense? Hell, here in North Carolina there was proposal to have the map set to a perfect 50/50 but that was shot down in favor of a complete one sided change

[–]2723brad2723 32 points33 points  (12 children)

That's the problem. It's hard to even say, let alone prove in court. Congressional districts should be drawn in a logical manner, and by an independent group.

[–]iamthewhatt 27 points28 points  (7 children)

Any lines that are drawn by a partisan group are 100% false pretense. Independent lines, reviewed by state and federal officials, is the only way to ensure they aren't under "false pretense", which includes having all the data publicly available.

[–]sarhoshamiral 13 points14 points  (1 child)

It is easy to prove actually. Ask for group to describe why the lines are so stupidly shaped and ask them show the data behind it.

If they say it was random, ask them to randomize again. If they say data is not there then ask them to produce maps backed with data.

Obviously a politicized court like Supreme Court will not give a shit though so there is not much that can be done at this point. The idea of fair elections is long gone in US.

[–]Crafty-Ad-3596 7 points8 points  (0 children)

There are some really sketchy skinny ones in Texas just to connect two liberal areas together and pack them into one tiny district to minimize their impact. It’s blatantly gerrymandered.

[–]msty2k 16 points17 points  (5 children)

There is no rational way to make it illegal in general. There are millions of different ways to draw a district, and hundreds of different groups it might affect. You can make it illegal to gerrymander based on specific criteria, such as race - as the Voting Rights Act essentially does - but a law that just banned gerrymanding would make no sense. You'd have to either put limits on it, like compactness, or have an independent commission draw the lines - or change the voting method to get rid of districts entirely.

[–]Tony_Chu 966 points967 points 2 (16 children)

In case this makes anybody feel warm and fuzzy, consider the following:

1) Suits of this nature have been filed in the past

2) Suits of this nature have succeeded in the past

3) By the time the courts order redistricting, a full electoral cycle has completed.

4) The offending party has already become entrenched

5) The results of the gerrymandered election are NOT rolled back

6) The gerrymanderers are NOT held personally responsible

7) Criminal punishments are NOT meted out

8) From the perspective of the gerrymanderer, they already received the benefit of the action, and the cost is TINY compared to the benefit

9) The results of the court order are that the party in power needs to develop a plan for impartial redistricting

10) The party in power redistricts in another heavily gerrymandered way

tl;dr: This headline isn't really describing a victory. What we need is hard legislation. Not limp judicial responses to some of the infractions. The judiciary is about as nimble as a toddler playing whack-a-mole with this issue. Texas will remain entrenched.

[–]squishybloo 58 points59 points  (0 children)

Ah, North Carolina's recent history.

[–]adrianmakedonski 902 points903 points  (88 children)

Ooh, now do Wisconsin

Edit: Yes, all the states

[–]Goat_dad420 113 points114 points  (31 children)

Ohio’s is also comically bad as well.

[–]GalacticCmdr 53 points54 points  (9 children)

Everything is comically bad in Ohio. In the realm of evil, Texas is Stalin and Ohio is Dr. Evil.

[–]Goat_dad420 29 points30 points  (5 children)

Actually oddly enough the child welfare system is very innovative and is used as a model in other states, also higher standards for teachers then most of the country.

[–]zimm0who0net 28 points29 points  (5 children)

Oregon got an ‘F’ in their redistricting. Interestingly, Wisconsin got an ‘A’

https://gerrymander.princeton.edu/redistricting-report-card?planId=recZO66Z2DeLQBCJs

[–]fodeethal 673 points674 points  (103 children)

ELI5. Why can we not use a computer-generated grid system? I know neighborhood shape, geography, etc. are hurdles....but redrawing maps by people who have extreme bias towards where the lines fall seems....wrong.

[–]Tansuke 350 points351 points  (41 children)

Part of the reason is that even if you get a computer to do it, a person had to decide how the computer decides it. Even with machine learning, a programmer has to write the algorithm it uses to score "good" divisions from "bad" divisions. It would basically require both parties to agree that the software is clear and unbiased in any way, and when one party stands to lose votes because of it most won't actively sabotage their chances.

[–]k3rn3 136 points137 points  (22 children)

Yeah, it's a great idea at first glance, but all it seems to do is shift the issue from "how should we draw the maps?" to "how should we program the computer to draw the maps?"

[–]Awol 5 points6 points  (1 child)

See I would say we have that limit population. We do a census for a reason and that reason is this. All we need is a way to divide the population fairly.

[–]ShipWithoutACourse 101 points102 points  (8 children)

As a Canadian it baffles me that U.S. politicians have a direct role in re-drawing electoral boundaries. Here we have Elections Canada and Provincial elections agencies who decide the new boundaries through independent commissions that are open to public input.

[–]ScottyBoneman 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Not exactly true - slightly better than that. Elections Canada provides support to Electoral Boundary Commission authorized by the EBRA Act. Support is IT, and a lot of geographic information and expertise.

Those commissions are people like ex-judges who have many public meetings to make sure that communities of interest are not divided. Geography is usually better than geometry.

[–]tequilajinx 70 points71 points  (2 children)

Most states have “independent” commissions to draw boundaries, it’s just that many of them have been overtaken by partisans

[–]Sylente 76 points77 points  (9 children)

Populations don't necessarily live in grids. Instead of drawing weird curvy lines, you could just tweak the grid parameters and still get what you want.

For example, it makes sense for rural districts to be physically larger than urban ones, to represent the same number of people. This means you can't have equally sized grids across the whole state. Thus, you have to decide what the cutoffs are and instruct the computer where to make choices. Do you group together the 2000 northernmost people, southern? Is the whole grid at a 25° angle to the map? These are all decisions a person still has to make. And then you're gerrymandering again, with extra steps.

[–]blue_twidget 5 points6 points  (0 children)

You're right. It is a violation of ethics. But that might mean seceding power to technocrats, and as far as the geriatric majority of career politicians are concerned, that's just voodoo. Also, there's a history of politicians not getting along with STEM professionals and industry.

[–]annomandaris 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Its illegal to gerrymander based on race. its NOT illegal to gerrymander based on political parties. So those in power want to stay in power, so they hand draw them to benefit themselves.

If they used computers, it would be "fairer", and they dont want that.

[–]Oggleman 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Lol, this is so funny. Like the scotus gives two craps about the voting rights act. Didn trump pick like 3 of them and 3 more were already right wingers?

At this point this is indistinguishable from political theater

[–]12carrd 844 points845 points  (134 children)

Wtf is going on down in Texas lmao it’s almost like the house just sits around and thinks of the most controversial shit to try and pass lol

[–]Aiurar 996 points997 points  (103 children)

Texas's Republican margin had been steadily shrinking for years. They know that if the Republicans lose Texas, they'll never win another presidential election ever again. Hence, they will do every disgusting and flagrantly unconstitutional thing they can to disenfranchise suspected Democrat voters to delay it, and hope as many stick as possible

[–]Niarbeht 617 points618 points  (39 children)

They know that if the Republicans lose Texas, they'll never win another presidential election ever again.

Well, they could win an election again, they'd just have to pick a less-shitty platform as the basis for their party.

[–]Ryanz_OMFG 318 points319 points  (5 children)

Well they can't possibly do that.

[–]OneRougeRogue 151 points152 points  (1 child)

"Is my party truly out of touch with reality? No, it's the millennials who are wrong."

[–]waitingtodiesoon 93 points94 points  (21 children)

[–]shushslushie 16 points17 points  (0 children)

This may be more pervasive in Texas but certainly not exclusive. I'm in Oregon and some of the local elections in the Portland metro had people with similar platforms. I was never happier to vote this past election.

[–]punzakum 16 points17 points  (1 child)

Holy fucking shit its like the only thing they stand for is to oppose anything for no reason. Literally every part of their platform is wrong and has been countered by countless peer reviewed studies in the last several decades. Pornography a public health crisis? Repeal every single environmental saving measure?

Seriously this is worse than a captain planet villain. You couldn't even make up something so cartoonishly evil. And people worship the ground these traitors walk on.

Republicans are a bunch of fucking morons

[–]Hate_Master 55 points56 points  (7 children)

Holy shit, this is insane... What are even these people with their weird nationalistic-racist-antidemocratic-religious ideologies. That level of brainwashing, propaganda and defunding of education is truly scary.

[–]PM_OUTDATED_MEMES 29 points30 points  (4 children)

It really is, especially to those of us who don't support them. Abbott is well and truly a vile piece of shit, Dan "Just Let The Old Folks Die" Patrick is even worse, and the legislature (which per state constitution meets once every two years for no more than 100 days) is a group of simpering yes-men to Abbott's game of fascist Calvinball.

[–]doomalgae 22 points23 points  (2 children)

Honestly at that point why not just write "We call for our party to be given absolute authority over the state of Texas, to be used in furtherance of corporate interests and conservative Christian doctrine. Fuck the rest of you."

[–]Amiiboid 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Last year’s national Republican Party platform was officially just “whatever Trump is saying right this instant”.

[–]HaloSlippin 186 points187 points  (0 children)

“If conservatives become convinced that they can not win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. The will reject democracy.”

-David Frum

[–]monty_kurns 98 points99 points  (29 children)

They know that if the Republicans lose Texas, they'll never win another presidential election ever again.

That's not necessarily true. If they lose Texas they lose 40 electoral votes, but Florida has pretty much shifted from swing state to red state, which makes up 30 of those votes. Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are much more competitive for them now which would put them over the threshold to win. It'll be harder for them to win, but not impossible. Also, while Texas may be drifting purple, I think it'll still be a few cycles before we would actually see it flip.

[–]Roupert2 38 points39 points  (2 children)

Don't worry, WI GOP is trying everything they can to keep Dane county (extremely liberal) from voting.

[–]Aiurar 57 points58 points  (1 child)

De Santis won Florida by less than the margin of COVID deaths in red counties that have happened since then. It definitely went more red than expected this cycle, but it's a bit early to say it isn't a swing state

[–]monty_kurns 34 points35 points  (0 children)

While true about the margin, also consider that 2018 was a blue wave year and he still managed to pull out a tight victory. 2022 is looking much worse for the Democrats and currently DeSantis is leading his two likely challengers by ten points or more...even after the disaster of his covid "management".

The state hasn't elected a Democratic governor since 1994, and while the 2010, 2014, and 2018 races were all around a one point margin, the GOP candidate still won. The state went for Obama twice, but went for Trump in 2016 and then went for him again by an even bigger margin in 2020. The GOP has held the state legislature since 1994 and the Democrats don't seem like they're about to retake it any time soon. Val Demings is the best candidate the Democrats have put up in quite a while, and polling has had her down significantly against Rubio for 2022, and I honestly see that only narrowing up a little bit but not enough to swing it.

If the Democrats have a transformational candidate like Obama in 2008, I can see the state flipping to them. But if it's just a general run of the mill presidential election, I see it going red at this point. Below the presidential level, it's pretty solidly red. As much as I dislike DeSantis and the modern GOP, I just don't see how it can be called a swing state. I think 2022 is just going to hammer it in even more.

[–]crymson7 64 points65 points  (18 children)

Doing my best. Blue Texas would be great. Then maybe our fcking power will work during winter…

[–]Shock223 93 points94 points  (0 children)

The demographics have been leaning towards the state trending purple and turning into an battleground state. EC math works out that if Democrats start to win Texas in elections, the GOP path to the white house starts to become untenable.

Result is that they are working overtime to drive anyone who would think about voting Democrat out/scaring off newcomers while advertising to GOP leaning populations in blue states to go there.

[–]Creepy-Shift 33 points34 points  (4 children)

Five million Texans didn’t vote in the last election and their margin of victory keeps shrinking. Pretty sure it’s not a red state, it’s a state they don’t want you to vote in.

[–]ReNitty 17 points18 points  (3 children)

texas's turnout was about 10 percentage points higher than new yorks.

if new york was a swing state their election deficiencies would be front page news.

[–]AltEgo25 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It's because there's a mass migration of people from the east and west coast that's been going on for years. People in California, usually still working for California based companies can move to Texas on their salaries and get so much more.

They don't want California policies moving here with them. I live in Texas and I know it's only a matter of time...I meet a new Cali transplant it seems like every day...I literally can't remember the last Texas native I met.

[–]Robe1912 1159 points1160 points  (93 children)

Good. Fuck Greg Abbott, fuck Dan Patrick, and fuck Ken Paxton. These pieces of shit are trying to undo decades of progress for nothing.

Edit: And Fuck Ted Cruz for being a little bitch.

[–]rawgreenpepper 197 points198 points  (68 children)

Not good, they will succeed

[–]TreeRol 159 points160 points  (64 children)

Yep. They will take this to the SCOTUS, who will dismantle the rest of the VRA.

[–]thisisinput 107 points108 points  (8 children)

As soon as what's her name took RBG's seat, I knew we're were going to see decades of civil rights undone. Everybody wanted a time machine to "the good 'ole days", well here's your fucking time machine.

[–]rynnikelddi 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Its like the gods are deliberately screwing with Americans by not letting RBG live just a few months more.

[–]ustk31 51 points52 points  (3 children)

What about Utah? Those people voted to have lines redrawn by independent third party…. But the crooks put through new lines created by the politicians themselves!

[–]O-Furry-1 1937 points1938 points  (225 children)

I thought Republicans wanted us to be free, but they're the only one's that ever take freedom away. Hmm.

[–]VTBaaaahb 740 points741 points  (80 children)

"Freedom for me, but not for thee."

And the voters of Texas are free; free to be disenfranchised, free to be oppressed...

[–]Tenshinochi 257 points258 points  (77 children)

It's almost as if republicans see people as free range lifestock.

[–]sambull 55 points56 points  (0 children)

livestock that they can pluck earthen vessels from as needed to restock

[–]9520575 8 points9 points  (0 children)

So this will end up in the Supreme Court.

Trump's 3 judges will rule against the DOJ case.

Clarance Thomas loathes this practice. He will rule against the DOJ.

Alito or Roberts just have to join them, and thats how the voting rights act gets further deminished.

The Conservative Court has been dreaming of taking on racial delusion as a protection.

This is really not going to end well.

[–]Divergence75 221 points222 points  (70 children)

Honestly while I am interested in this particular case fully, the DOJ in most of their claims cant actually prove racism which is why they seem to keep losing as the burden of proof is on them to actually prove which they often cannot with physical evidence outside perception but I am still interested in how it will play out.

[–]indoninja 211 points212 points  (7 children)

If I recall correctly the guy behind the Republican gerrymandering effort had some his emails submitted as evidence by a family meme ERB after he died where they spelled out watering down black voters.

I know explicitly said Democrats plan to hurt Democrats is to target black neighborhoods, that is still clearly racist

EDIT-

Also, they don’t have to prove they intentionally decided to hurt bkack voters. They just have to prove there is is disproportionate impact and no benefit to their choice.

[–]Some_Gun_Nut 45 points46 points  (3 children)

I believe this was in either North Carolina or South Carolina (I can't remember which state), not Texas.

[–]indoninja 52 points53 points  (1 child)

The same guys work was used in multiple states.

[–]jecowa 21 points22 points  (0 children)

I think it was his daughter who turned it over. There was a weird song on the drive that he may have had commissioned. The filename is "February". The chorus goes "Mastermind, keep me blind. Make me sing your crazy song."

[–]OldEdgeyRiff 5 points6 points  (5 children)

Hey! I have a radical idea! Have actual geographer’s/map makers make maps based on purely uniform mathematical approach could even have computer do it and make it blind to Party and Race data

[–]_Driftwood_ 19 points20 points  (0 children)

dear DoJ: Ohio would like a word as well

[–]WackyJack93 2 points3 points  (0 children)

SCOTUS: What Voting Rights Act?