HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Politics 2014 (Forum) » Four Ways The Virginia GO...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 04:04 PM

Four Ways The Virginia GOP’s Redistricting Power Grab Could Be Stopped By Legal Action

1.No Mid-Decade Gerrymanders: The Virginia Constitution provides that “he General Assembly shall reapportion the Commonwealth into electoral districts in accordance with this section in the year 2011 and every ten years thereafter.” When a constitution specifically instructs a legislature to take a particular action or grants a specific power to those lawmakers, courts sometimes read it to implicitly prevent them from taking other actions. Thus, when the state constitution instructs Virginia lawmakers to redistrict every ten years, it implicitly instructs them not to engage in mid-decade gerrymanders, and the new maps are invalid. The Virginia Supreme Court has not weighed in on this question, but a Virginia trial court concluded in 2012 that one purpose of this provision in the state constitution was “to preclude ‘politically convenient redistricting whenever one political party or the other might gain the upper hand and find it attractive to redraw political boundaries to consolidate power.’”

2.Voting Rights Act: The Voting Rights Act not only forbids state voting laws which have a discriminatory impact on minorities, Section Five of the Act also requires new voting laws in some parts of the county to “pre-clear” those requirements with the Department of Justice or a federal court in Washington, DC before they can take effect. Much of Virginia remains subject to Section Five, so the maps could be stopped if they diminish minority voting strength in the covered areas. There’s only one problem: the conservatives on the Roberts Court are widely expected to strike down Section Five before the Court adjourns this June.

3.What’s Left Of The Voting Rights Act: Even if the conservative justices strike down Section Five, Section Two of the Voting Right Act still prohibits redistricting that dilutes minority voting strength. To the extent that the new GOP maps dilute the minority vote, they could be subject to a lawsuit under Section Two. Such a lawsuit, however, would ultimately appeal to the same Republican-dominated Supreme Court that is expected to strike down Section Five.

4.The U.S. Supreme Court Could Actually Do It’s Job: As a final note, the entire purpose of partisan gerrymanders is to weaken the voting power of people who hold one viewpoint (in this case, Democrats) while strengthening that of people who hold an opposing view (in this case, Republicans). This is a textbook violation of the First Amendment’s prohibition on viewpoint discrimination. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court’s conservatives have refused to even consider cases challenging partisan gerrymanders, although Justice Kennedy suggested that his opposition to gerrymandering lawsuits is not entirely absolute.


http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/01/23/1478371/four-ways-the-virginia-gops-redistricting-power-grab-could-be-stopped-by-the-law/

5 replies, 754 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply Four Ways The Virginia GOP’s Redistricting Power Grab Could Be Stopped By Legal Action (Original post)
octoberlib Jan 2013 OP
onehandle Jan 2013 #1
napi21 Jan 2013 #2
Faryn Balyncd Jan 2013 #3
santamargarita Jan 2013 #4
jimmy the one Jan 2013 #5

Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 04:06 PM

1. 5. The twenty gerrymanderers are drafted into service and sent to Afghanistan. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 04:14 PM

2. That's great info. I hope it was sent to the Dems in Va.

I'm sure they have attys on staff and can get court filings started.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 04:44 PM

3. Time to get to work.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 04:57 PM

4. Well. find one you like and undo this cowardly act!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 08:27 PM

5. Pennsy & Virginia gerrymandering

Four Ways The Virginia GOP’s Redistricting Power Grab Could Be Stopped By Legal Action

Since I winter-over in southern virginia december - march, & live in pennsylvania the milder months, I'm affected by both virginia's sleazy republicans as well as pennsy's sleazier ones - who already have a fait accompli in gerrymandering republican districts (didn't help in 2012 obama won ~52-47, but repubs control state house & senate in harrisburg due election 2010, thus the current gerrymandering advantage, with (R) governor corbett completing the menage a trois).

.. It's really sick, living amongst these high minded sub-cultured creeps who think they can control elections by sidestepping proper & ethical election procedure & precedent - sick that they actually believe what they are doing is OK, legal - nothing wrong to rig voting districts so as to stack the deck for rightwing candidates, or to change the rules so that two pair beats a full house.

.. will americans be disturbed, impressed or indifferent, towards these jokers?
I'd move to new york state across the border, but it doesn't really need as much democrats, as pennsy do.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread