As the attempted withdrawal from the Paris agreement shows yet again, we have a President elected by a minority who is governing by appealing to a minority. He is backed by Republicans in a gerrymandered House who are terrified that they will be ousted in primaries by people as crazy as the President.
As an attorney, I once helped represent the Democrats in two different election cycles in California where we defended the Congressional lines drawn against claims of gerrymandering. I asked a Democratic leader whether he thought gerrymanders were fair. He said that in California the Republicans have the money and the Democrats get to draw the lines, so it all evened out. I wonder what he thinks now.
Today, Republicans, a minority party, control the House with gerrymandering making a substantial contribution to that control.
The Supreme Court has rebuffed political gerrymandering cases in the past on the ground that there is no clear way to draw lines outside of politics. At the same time, the Court has allowed courts or court appointees to draw lines in racial gerrymandering cases.
Now two political gerrymandering cases – one from Wisconsin, the other from North Carolina – are before the Court. Unless you are a party hack who thinks the fairness of gerrymandering depends upon who wins, I think it obvious that the system is broken now and has been broken for some time. Justice Kennedy is the key vote. Hopefully, he will vote at least to impose limits on the gerrymandering process.