Supreme Court Unanimously Rejects Republican’s Latest Election Rigging Scheme

In another humiliating defeat that will have major ramifications for Republicans going forward, all 8 Justices on the Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling that Texas Republicans could not redraw voting districts to suppress the growing Latino vote.

The “one person, one vote” case was designed by conservatives to exclude non-voting populations when drawing the electoral map for the state. The immediate effect would be that districts with large numbers of non-eligible voters (like, for instance, Latino immigrants and children), would be lumped together, giving much more power to rural, mostly white and older, districts.

I’m sure you’ll be shocked to know that older white people tend to vote Republican. But that surely wasn’t the intent behind this move to consolidate power increase the fairness of elections for white people everyone.

If this all sounds a bit confusing (and it should), what Republicans were trying to say is that people who can’t vote, children, immigrants, convicted felons, etc. do not deserve the same kind of representation in their local government. Because they’re not really people or something. But really, this was just the latest GOP attempt at rigging elections.

Right now, the populations of large racially diverse cities mean that those cities have several (or more) voting districts and they tend to be far more liberal than rural, mostly white districts. That means that in a state like Texas, the cities are threatening to overpower the rural areas in terms of electoral power and turn the state purple and eventually blue. The goal of this court case was to reverse that trend and greatly reduce the number of city districts, thus, making the rural (and conservative) districts more powerful.

But apparently this was a voter suppression tactic too far for even the conservatives on the Court:

Six justices signed on to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s decision, and Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas — the most conservative members of the court — concurred in the judgment.

“Total-population apportionment meets the equal protection demand, by rendering each representative alert to the interests and constituent-service requests of all who dwell in the representative’s district,” Ginsburg said.

Even if Scalia had still been alive, it looks like he might have been the only dissent. And maybe Thomas after Scalia had told him what to think.

The conservative Justices were not opposed to the basic premise of the plan (stripping large cities of their voting power), just this particular method. Once Republicans come up with a new avenue of attack (and they will), they’ll try it again and if Republicans control the White House and put another Scalia on the bench, they might get away with it next time.

See why voting blue is important?


Featured image via wikipedia