The Richmond Spiders would use a big third quarter run to help defeat the Bellarmine Knights 16-9 in a conference game on the road. Richmond moves to 6-3 overall and 3-0 in the SoCon while Bellarmine drops to 0-8 and 0-2 in the SoCon. Richmond was led by Ryan Lanchbury with 6 points (4G/2A) and […]
“Thanks, operator, I have it.” Jack hung up and wrote down the number. Then he dialled the hotel operator and asked for another international line. He listened patiently as the switches closed in Cologne, Hamburg, London, Shannon and New York. Electricity flowing over the continents and under the Atlantic.
If an adjective creates a redundancy, does preceding it with two other adjectives give the Supreme Court a reason to venture where it has never gone before?
The justices should, like Ulysses, listen to this siren song but bind themselves from obeying it.
Tuesday’s issue is whether the court should attempt something for which it has neither an aptitude nor any constitutional warrant — concocting criteria for deciding when (adjective two) excessive partisan gerrymandering becomes (adjective three) unconstitutional.
Gerrymandering is generally as surreptitious as a brass band and is, always and everywhere, as political as lemonade is lemony.
Until 1962, the court stayed away from the inherently political process of the drawing of district lines by legislatures organized along partisan lines because the Constitution is unambiguous: “The times, places and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof.” There are enough open-textured terms in the Constitution (“establishment” of religion, “unreasonable” searches, “cruel” punishments, etc.)
So, the Constitution is explicit: Congress, not the judiciary, is the federal remedy for alleged defects in the drawing of congressional districts.
The political branches of the state and federal governments are assigned to deal with the inherently value-laden politics of drawing district lines.
These include criteria for measuring unconstitutional excesses in the common practices of “cracking” (dispersing one party’s voters across districts dominated by the other party) and “packing” (one party concentrating the other party’s voters into supermajorities in a few districts).
And the political science professoriate stands ready to eagerly tutor the court about “wasted votes” resulting from “efficiency gaps.” Today, people who are unhappy about North Carolina’s gerrymandering argue (as a lower court did) that “the Constitution does not authorize state redistricting bodies to engage in … partisan gerrymandering.” (Emphasis added.)
The Constitution is silent regarding limits on state legislatures’ partisan redistricting practices and is explicit regarding Congress’ exclusive power to modify these practices.