The Court Has Spoken

The United States Supreme Court handed down two decisions today that will impact whether next year’s election is a fair and honest election or not.  While one of those decisions was a proper decision, it is only a temporary one.  The other decision basically handed next year’s election to the Republican Party.

First the (sort of) good …

The Court put on hold Wilbur Ross (Secretary of Commerce) and Donald Trump’s attempt to intimidate voters by adding a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census form that every household is required to complete.  The Court said that the administration had presented a ‘contrived’ reason for adding the question, but rather than strike down the measure, they merely put the ball back in the administration’s court and told them to come up with a better reason, a more defensible justification.

What happens next with this is anybody’s guess, but the Department of Commerce will begin printing the census forms this summer, so there is not much time to make a final decision.  No doubt the government, such as it is, will find a way around it and make up some seemingly legitimate reason for adding the question.  Stay tuned …

The second decision handed down by the Court was a travesty of justice.  The issue was gerrymandering and whether the courts have the authority to order states to re-draw district maps that are currently drawn in such a way as to diminish the votes of the poor and minorities.  For a simple explanation of how gerrymandering works, see my post from February 2018.  Gerrymandering is a large part of how Donald Trump came to sit in the Oval Office, for in many states he lost the popular vote, but because of the way votes were apportioned, he won enough districts to nullify the votes of many.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, concluding …

“We conclude that partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts. Federal judges have no license to reallocate political power between the two major political parties, with no plausible grant of authority in the Constitution, and no legal standards to limit and direct their decisions.”

Justice Elena Kagan wrote in her dissenting opinion …

“For the first time ever, this court refuses to remedy a constitutional violation because it thinks the task beyond judicial capabilities.”

The Court understandably walks a fine line here, for it is intended to be non-partisan, and this is a highly partisan issue.  But, there is no fine line when it comes to fairness!  There is no grey area here!  States whose citizenry is majority republican have drawn their district maps to ensure that republicans will receive the largest number of electoral votes.  It isn’t debatable, it is simply WRONG!

The ramifications of this decision go beyond the obvious.  Think about this.  If you are a democrat in a predominantly republican state, and your state’s districts are heavily gerrymandered, skewed to ensure that minority votes are diluted, doesn’t that dim some of your enthusiasm for even voting?  One of the biggest problems we have on election day is getting people out to vote.  This is especially true of the poor and the minorities, for whom voting has been intentionally made more difficult than it needs to be by unfair voter I.D. laws, closing or reduction of polling places in lower-income neighborhoods, and other cheap tricks.  I can easily picture the single mom who has to take an hour-long bus ride after work to reach her polling place on the other side of town just throwing her hands up and saying, “Forget it!  I don’t have time for this when my vote isn’t going to count fairly anyway!”

What’s next?  Will the Court find a way to rule that voter harassment is not unconstitutional, so men in white robes and hoods can stand in front of polling venues?  Might just as damn well!

So much rides on next year’s election, folks.  On November 3rd next year, We the People are supposed to make a choice between turning this nation over to a madman who represents only a minority of the people for the foreseeable future, or a person who will safeguard our Constitution, who will represent ALL the people who reside in this nation, not just the chosen few.  Due to outside influences in our election process, and due to lack of voter education, the odds are already stacked against sanity reigning.  This is just one more blow to the possibility of having a fair and honest election … possibly a death blow.

Many times, I have said that we must hope the one completely independent branch of our government, the courts, would stop Trump from completely destroying this nation.  The Court has spoken.supreme court justices

25 thoughts on “The Court Has Spoken

  1. Hello Jill. Did you catch the tweet where tRump claims he has asked his lawyers ( the DOJ under Barr I presume ) to delay the census as long as needed until he gets his question on it? So another part of the constitution gone. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, I hadn’t seen that one, but they can only delay it for a finite length of time … last I heard was October at the outside … for they have to print them before the beginning of the year. Trump cannot change the calendar, no matter how much he thinks he is the supreme being of the universe. I hope the Court holds firm on denying him his bloody census question. If not, I am going to start a movement and hope to get all my blogger buddies to help, to spread the word that nobody should answer the citizenship question. I certainly won’t answer it. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fair elections? Who wants fair elections? Not Trump. Not Pence. Not Bolton. They haven’t had their war yet. Trump hasn’t been crowned Eternal Emperor of All English-Speaking Evangelicals and Their Neighbors yet either. They want to make sure they get their chance.
    Let’s hope they don’t get it, despite cheating.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re right … silly me for thinking that just because I contribute to this country, I have a right for my vote to count. I do hope they don’t get their way, but … more and more I despair that the election next year will be only a formality. I sense we might be stuck with the madman at the helm until he finally dies, and then his son will step into his shoes. I wrote a letter last night, renouncing my citizenship in the U.S. I’m not sure who to send it to, but I’ll figure it out. LuL

      Liked by 2 people

      • Good question. The Bureau of Vital Statistics (or your version thereof). Maybe Fox News, they should be happy there is one less Trump-hater in America. No use sending it to Trump, he doesn’t know who you are, so he won’t care.
        Are you allowed to offer your citizenship to some young person sitting in a stockade in Clinton, Texas? That would be a good use of it. You might start a trend among concerned Americans…

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Jill, I agree with your word travesty on the gerrymandering ruling. Living in NC, I have seen the orchestrated cheating up close. Both sides have done it, but the a federal jugge said the NC GOP used a “laserlike focus to discriminate.” Sadly, it has backfired on the GOP and been even more harmful to governance as it has allowed more extreme people get elected. This is a reason so many in Washington and Raleigh are scared to work across the aisle. This SCOTUS ruling is a disservice to America and Kagen is dead on accurate in her passionate minority opinion. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Keith. I truly thought this one was a no-brainer … gerrymandering is a dishonest thing to do that alters the will of the people. Simple, yes? Sigh. Nothing is simple anymore, is it? I’m so afraid of something happening to Ruth Bader Ginsburg before Trump is out of office, and that would be the end of any semblance of impartiality on the SCOTUS.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jill, by the way, the Maryland case which was included with NC case was Democrat led. So, it matters not which party gerrymanders, it is wrong. It is orchestrated cheating.

        The two principals behind the NC gerrymandering are not held in high opinion by me. One also was behind the unconstitutional voter ID law, who also ripped me a new one in an email, when I told him such before it was passed. The other is a rampant name-calling and bombastic person – he is precisely what is not needed in governance.

        SCOTUS dropped the ball and kicked it away. Like Citizens-United and McCuthcheon decisions, this very poor jurisprudence regardless of leanings. Keith

        Liked by 2 people

        • Agreed that both parties do or have done it, but it surely does seem that the republicans are the masters of the gerrymander. And, they hold the majority in the entire center of the nation. Yep, once again SCOTUS dropped the ball, and I’m afraid for the day when two cases in particular, Roe v Wade, and Obergefell v Hodges, hit their docket, as they are sure to do with the “evangelical-mouthpiece” in the Oval Office, and states passing laws for the sole purpose of forcing the Supreme Court to revisit the issues of abortion and same-sex marriage.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jill, to your point, the GOP had a concerted effort to win the midterms and state seats in 2010 to capitalize on a census year. Using ALEC, there was a lot of cookie cutter language across states. So, yes both sides do it, but the GOP has done a lot of it lately. Keith

            Liked by 1 person

  4. You’re raining on my parade, Jill. Of course the Dems will take the WH and Congress on Nov 3, 2019, of course states will elect Democrats, and of course this great nation will boot trump and his 43 1/2 % support base back to the sewers where they belong. This is America, not some 3rd world banana republic. You and me, Jill, we can do it. You write the letters and I’ll bring the beer and tacos.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Can’t ask for any more than a man who will bring beer and tacos!!! And one who has such a positive outlook, to boot! I hope to heck you are right, my friend. And yep, I’ll be writing the letters, pounding the keyboard into the wee hours for the next 17 months. If we fail, it won’t be for lack of trying. I think I’m gonna need a new laptop, though, for the lettering has worn off several of my keys from all the late-night pounding, and it’s getting old … periodically it just says, “I’m tired, I’m gonna shut myself down now.” And it does … no warning, no chance to save anything. They call it the ‘blue screen of death’, or BSoD. I’ve tried all the suggested fixes, and I think it’s just got a mind of its own. So, gotta trim some off the grocery budget for a while! Eat more rice!!! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • I just watched the debates and I AM EXCITED. If Democrats can’t find one man/woman among the great list of candidates to beat trump, then on Nov 4th of 2019 I will meet you at the Windsor Bridge with the beer and tacos as we celebrate our transition to the tundra. (I hope you like NA beer, I can’t drink the real stuff. Should we take extra mittens?)

        Liked by 2 people

        • I’m glad to hear that you came away with a positive feeling! I did not watch, and have not yet read the transcript, but from what I’m picking up the news headlines, it sounded rather discouraging. I will be studying it more tonight when I have some time. And yep … the Windsor Bridge it will be, with fake beer and tacos! Probably a ‘yes’ on the mittens … it rains all the time there, and it will be November, after all. Perhaps some of our UK friends will join us!

          Liked by 2 people

  5. Definitely a mixed bag with these rulings. I think it’s going to be hard for Trump admin to come up with another way out of it. Since forms have to be sent out fairly quick, it’s going to be tough for them. But, you and I know they will try their best. The other ruling is a total disaster for sure. Talk about a punt!! This is a gift to the right-wingers through and through. And, I think I’m right to say that Dems better take as many state houses as they possibly can because whoever is in charge will get to re-write the districts after the 2020 census results are in. Because this is exactly what happened in 2010 when R’s won back a bunch of state houses. Maybe all we can hope for is a total takeover in 2020 by Dems…POTUS…House…and Senate. Only then will they be able to pass any meaningful legislation on gerrymandering. It’s going to be one helluva struggle Jill! The bad news just keeps on coming….

    Liked by 2 people

    • First they said the forms had to be finalized by June, but then they said they could possibly move it back to October. Trump was immediately tweeting how awful and unfair the Court was to him. Oh, boo-hoo. I suspect he and his lawyers will pull as many tricks out of their hats as they can, and I won’t be surprised if they can convince the Court. Sigh. I almost feel as if the last layer of protection has fallen and we are left completely vulnerable to the whims of a madman. Yes, my friend, it is gonna be a helluva fight, and you and I are gonna be ready to take ’em on! Be sharpening that sword, Jeff, and polishing your brass buttons. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh, you can bet I’m ready Jill. Especially after seeing him yukking it up with Putin, and praising the ‘hatchet man’ MBS on his overseas trip. What the hell is wrong with this man?

        Liked by 1 person

        • He is the most extreme version of a narcissist that has ever walked the earth. I literally felt pain shoot from my chest through my head when I saw that about him wink, wink, telling Putin not to mess with our elections, while he, Putin, and the entire cabinet that traveled with him (including the useless duo of Kushner/Ivanka) all laughed. THEY LAUGHED!!! At our expense, and while wining and dining on our dime and ruining our future!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…


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