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SCOTUS Watch

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by stessier » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:17 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:00 pm
NBC News
The Supreme Court declined on Monday to change the longstanding rule that says putting someone on trial more than once for the same crime does not violate the Constitution's protection against double jeopardy — a case that drew attention because of its possible implications for President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

The 7-2 ruling was a defeat for an Alabama man, Terance Gamble, convicted of robbery in 2008 and pulled over seven years later for a traffic violation. When police found a handgun in his car, he was prosecuted under Alabama's law barring felons from possessing firearms. The local U.S. attorney then charged Gamble with violating a similar federal law. Because of the added federal conviction, his prison sentence was extended by nearly three years.

The Fifth Amendment says no person shall be "twice put in jeopardy of life or limb" for the same offense. But for more than 160 years, the Supreme Court has ruled that being prosecuted once by a state and again in federal court, or the other way around, for the same crime doesn't violate the protection against double jeopardy because the states and the federal government are "separate sovereigns."

The case attracted more than the usual attention because of the prospect that Trump may pardon Manafort, who was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for violating federal fraud laws. A presidential pardon could free him from federal prison, but it would not protect him from being prosecuted on similar state charges, which were filed by New York. Overturning the rule allowing separate prosecutions for the same offenses would have worked in Manafort's favor.
Just because I always find the breakdown interesting, here is how the court broke from Scotusblog:
Adjudged to be AFFIRMED. Alito, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Roberts, C. J., and Thomas, Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Kavanaugh, JJ., joined. Thomas, J., filed a concurring opinion. Ginsburg, J., and Gorsuch, J., filed dissenting opinions.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:54 am

WaPo
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a large cross erected as a tribute to war dead may continue to stand on public land outside Washington in the Maryland suburbs.

The justices reversed a lower court that said the cross was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.

“The cross is undoubtedly a Christian symbol, but that fact should not blind us to everything else that the Bladensburg Cross has come to represent,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote. “For some, that monument is a symbolic resting place for ancestors who never returned home. For others, it is a place for the community to gather and honor all veterans and their sacrifices for our Nation. For others still, it is a historical landmark. For many of these people, destroying or defacing the Cross that has stood undisturbed for nearly a century would not be neutral and would not further the ideals of respect and tolerance embodied in the First Amendment.”

The vote was 7 to 2, with several justices writing separate opinions. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented, Ginsburg emphasizing her disagreement by reading part of her dissent from the bench.

Ginsburg said the court’s decision to maintain the cross-shaped monument on public land “erodes” the constitutional principle that “demands governmental neutrality.”

By honoring World War I soldiers with a cross-shaped memorial, the state of Maryland, she said, “places Christianity above other faiths” and sends the message to people of other faiths that “they are outsiders.”

“Making a Latin cross a war memorial does not make the cross secular. Quite the contrary, the image of the cross makes the war memorial sectarian. The Peace Cross is no exception,” Ginsburg said.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:18 pm

Reuters
In a 5-4 decision powered by the conservative justices with the liberals in dissent, the court shored up the rights of private property holders in governmental disputes, ruling in favor of a Pennsylvania woman fighting a town ordinance aimed at keeping cemeteries on private land open to the public.

The ruling, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, overruled a 1985 Supreme Court decision that had forced property owners facing a government-led takeover of land for public purposes to seek compensation under state law before bringing a claim in federal court.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Defiant » Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:31 pm

Gorsuch sides with liberal justices in finding gun law to be 'vague'
The Supreme Court on Monday ruled 5-4 that a federal law allowing for gun convictions relating to "a crime of violence" was too vague.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by em2nought » Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:10 pm

So they can't take my firearms away for throwing your milkshake back at you? Sounds reasonable. :wink:
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by LawBeefaroni » Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:17 pm

em2nought wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:10 pm
So they can't take my firearms away for throwing your milkshake back at you? Sounds reasonable. :wink:
Both men were convicted by juries of brandishing short-barreled shotguns
They call that "throwing a milkshake" where you're from?

Guess we'll find out when there's a spate of prison releases after 30 years of convictions are overturned.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Kraken » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:08 am

SCOTUS is fine with partisan gerrymandering. Now if they allow the citizenship question on the census, they've cemented Republican rule for another generation.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by pr0ner » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:10 am

Kraken wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:08 am
SCOTUS is fine with partisan gerrymandering. Now if they allow the citizenship question on the census, they've cemented Republican rule for another generation.
Roberts and the liberal side of the court blocked the citizenship question.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Skinypupy » Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:49 pm

pr0ner wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:10 am
Kraken wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:08 am
SCOTUS is fine with partisan gerrymandering. Now if they allow the citizenship question on the census, they've cemented Republican rule for another generation.
Roberts and the liberal side of the court blocked the citizenship question.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Fireball » Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:19 pm

pr0ner wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:10 am
Kraken wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:08 am
SCOTUS is fine with partisan gerrymandering. Now if they allow the citizenship question on the census, they've cemented Republican rule for another generation.
Roberts and the liberal side of the court blocked the citizenship question.
For now. Roberts will give Commerce another chance, and will accept a slightly more plausible lie regarding the reason for the question.

Today may well have been the fatal blow to American democracy.
Wed Oct 20, 2004 1:17 am
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior » Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:23 pm

Fireball wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:19 pm
pr0ner wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:10 am
Kraken wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:08 am
SCOTUS is fine with partisan gerrymandering. Now if they allow the citizenship question on the census, they've cemented Republican rule for another generation.
Roberts and the liberal side of the court blocked the citizenship question.
For now. Roberts will give Commerce another chance, and will accept a slightly more plausible lie regarding the reason for the question.

Today may well have been the fatal blow to American democracy.
Agreed - the theory of his decision is fundamentally flawed. The majority essentially says it is a political problem and the judiciary shouldn't step in. The very same political system that is being distorted by the practice.

Anyone pointing at this and saying it is race has some grounds but the stronger point IMO is that the court acted in a partisan fashion to protect party over country. A really bad day for American democracy.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by YellowKing » Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:45 pm

North Carolina is a prime example of why "leaving it in the hands of the states" isn't going to work. NC already has a GOP legislature cemented in place due to gerrymandering. Leaving it in their hands is putting the fox in charge of the hen house. How are NC voters supposed to put an end to a problem that is designed to keep them from doing just that?

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by pr0ner » Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:03 pm

Trump is NOT happy with the census decision, going so far as to suggest delaying the census.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by $iljanus » Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:25 pm

pr0ner wrote:Trump is NOT happy with the census decision, going so far as to suggest delaying the census.

Next from the White House, the Toddler asks aides why he can't fire some of the judges since he's the CEO of America.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Skinypupy » Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:31 pm

Any time I might start to feel the slightest bit of hope creep in, I only need to look at the supportive comments in a Trump tweet to be reminded how well and truly fucked we actually are.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior » Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:36 pm

$iljanus wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:25 pm
Next from the White House, the Toddler asks aides why he can't fire some of the judges since he's the CEO of America.
The Apprentice: SCOTUS edition - the return of Omarosa.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by coopasonic » Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:58 pm

Fireball wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:19 pm
Today may well have been the fatal blow to American democracy.
I don't like seeing this, but I *really* don't like seeing it from Fireball. If he's saying it could be all over... it could be all over.

More politically aware people, what's the best book that lays out how we got here? I've recently gained an appetite for non-fiction and I'd like to learn more. I know it happened over the course of my lifetime, but I wasn't paying attention. Help me get up to speed.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by stessier » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:00 pm

YellowKing wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:45 pm
North Carolina is a prime example of why "leaving it in the hands of the states" isn't going to work. NC already has a GOP legislature cemented in place due to gerrymandering. Leaving it in their hands is putting the fox in charge of the hen house. How are NC voters supposed to put an end to a problem that is designed to keep them from doing just that?
I'm not sure, but after reading a few 538 articles on the ways to draw districts, I'm not sure there is anything but a political answer to the question.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by coopasonic » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:04 pm

stessier wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:00 pm
YellowKing wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:45 pm
North Carolina is a prime example of why "leaving it in the hands of the states" isn't going to work. NC already has a GOP legislature cemented in place due to gerrymandering. Leaving it in their hands is putting the fox in charge of the hen house. How are NC voters supposed to put an end to a problem that is designed to keep them from doing just that?
I'm not sure, but after reading a few 538 articles on the ways to draw districts, I'm not sure there is anything but a political answer to the question.
We only need a fraction of the Democrats from NC to give up and move to the low pop red states to flip them and save us all. OF course there's a reason those low pop red states are low pop, but it really shouldn't be that hard. Come on, you can do it! I'm ignoring the fact that there are probably even more of us in Texas because I *really* don't want to move to Montana! Hell we could just empty Austin and flip most of the fly overs.
-Coop

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by pr0ner » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:11 pm

coopasonic wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:58 pm
Fireball wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:19 pm
Today may well have been the fatal blow to American democracy.
I don't like seeing this, but I *really* don't like seeing it from Fireball. If he's saying it could be all over... it could be all over.

More politically aware people, what's the best book that lays out how we got here? I've recently gained an appetite for non-fiction and I'd like to learn more. I know it happened over the course of my lifetime, but I wasn't paying attention. Help me get up to speed.
To give a different side of things, Fireball is known to be pretty hyperbolic with his postings here at times.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by coopasonic » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:26 pm

pr0ner wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:11 pm
coopasonic wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:58 pm
Fireball wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:19 pm
Today may well have been the fatal blow to American democracy.
I don't like seeing this, but I *really* don't like seeing it from Fireball. If he's saying it could be all over... it could be all over.

More politically aware people, what's the best book that lays out how we got here? I've recently gained an appetite for non-fiction and I'd like to learn more. I know it happened over the course of my lifetime, but I wasn't paying attention. Help me get up to speed.
To give a different side of things, Fireball is known to be pretty hyperbolic with his postings here at times.
I guess that's true, but he is also much closer to what's happening day to day than the rest of us. It doesn't help that the ruling already makes me uneasy.
-Coop

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:36 pm

coopasonic wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:58 pm
More politically aware people, what's the best book that lays out how we got here? I've recently gained an appetite for non-fiction and I'd like to learn more. I know it happened over the course of my lifetime, but I wasn't paying attention. Help me get up to speed.
Super wide-scope view: Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-year History

Narrow scope on recent insanity: Even Worse Than It Looks

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:38 pm

stessier wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:00 pm
YellowKing wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:45 pm
North Carolina is a prime example of why "leaving it in the hands of the states" isn't going to work. NC already has a GOP legislature cemented in place due to gerrymandering. Leaving it in their hands is putting the fox in charge of the hen house. How are NC voters supposed to put an end to a problem that is designed to keep them from doing just that?
I'm not sure, but after reading a few 538 articles on the ways to draw districts, I'm not sure there is anything but a political answer to the question.
Non-partisan committees or computer drawn districts are the way to go most likely.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:51 pm

coopasonic wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:26 pm
pr0ner wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:11 pm
coopasonic wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:58 pm
Fireball wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:19 pm
Today may well have been the fatal blow to American democracy.
I don't like seeing this, but I *really* don't like seeing it from Fireball. If he's saying it could be all over... it could be all over.

More politically aware people, what's the best book that lays out how we got here? I've recently gained an appetite for non-fiction and I'd like to learn more. I know it happened over the course of my lifetime, but I wasn't paying attention. Help me get up to speed.
To give a different side of things, Fireball is known to be pretty hyperbolic with his postings here at times.
I guess that's true, but he is also much closer to what's happening day to day than the rest of us. It doesn't help that the ruling already makes me uneasy.
Perhaps it is that people have their heads so deep in the sand to avoid reality is a big part of it. People so badly want to be serious and measured that they don't realize they've not only been boiled but are on the plate already. It really is that bad. You can focus on dozens of issues and see that things are very, very, very wrong. Heck focus on the latest one - children in detention for political asylum cases. Kids are being kept in filthy conditions *right now* and Government lawyers are literally saying in open court that soap and toothpaste aren't basic human necessities in regards to children. Sure the Courts are skeptical and pushing back but there are dozens of these assaults on basic decency under way at this moment.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:52 pm

coopasonic wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:26 pm
pr0ner wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:11 pm
coopasonic wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:58 pm
Fireball wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:19 pm
Today may well have been the fatal blow to American democracy.
I don't like seeing this, but I *really* don't like seeing it from Fireball. If he's saying it could be all over... it could be all over.

More politically aware people, what's the best book that lays out how we got here? I've recently gained an appetite for non-fiction and I'd like to learn more. I know it happened over the course of my lifetime, but I wasn't paying attention. Help me get up to speed.
To give a different side of things, Fireball is known to be pretty hyperbolic with his postings here at times.
I guess that's true, but he is also much closer to what's happening day to day than the rest of us. It doesn't help that the ruling already makes me uneasy.
Perhaps it is that people have their heads so deep in the sand to avoid reality is a big part of it. People so badly want to be serious and measured that they don't realize they've not only been boiled but are on the plate already. It really is that bad. You can focus on dozens of issues and see that things are very, very, very wrong. Heck focus on the latest one - children in detention for political asylum cases. Kids are being kept in filthy conditions *right now* and Government lawyers are literally saying in open court that soap and toothpaste aren't basic human necessities in regards to children. Sure the Courts are skeptical and pushing back but there are dozens of these assaults on basic decency under way at this moment.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by stessier » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:02 pm

malchior wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:38 pm
stessier wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:00 pm
YellowKing wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:45 pm
North Carolina is a prime example of why "leaving it in the hands of the states" isn't going to work. NC already has a GOP legislature cemented in place due to gerrymandering. Leaving it in their hands is putting the fox in charge of the hen house. How are NC voters supposed to put an end to a problem that is designed to keep them from doing just that?
I'm not sure, but after reading a few 538 articles on the ways to draw districts, I'm not sure there is anything but a political answer to the question.
Non-partisan committees or computer drawn districts are the way to go most likely.
To what end? What is the metric they are trying to satisfy? That is the problem - the answer is political.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:32 pm

stessier wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:02 pm
malchior wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:38 pm
stessier wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:00 pm
YellowKing wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:45 pm
North Carolina is a prime example of why "leaving it in the hands of the states" isn't going to work. NC already has a GOP legislature cemented in place due to gerrymandering. Leaving it in their hands is putting the fox in charge of the hen house. How are NC voters supposed to put an end to a problem that is designed to keep them from doing just that?
I'm not sure, but after reading a few 538 articles on the ways to draw districts, I'm not sure there is anything but a political answer to the question.
Non-partisan committees or computer drawn districts are the way to go most likely.
To what end? What is the metric they are trying to satisfy? That is the problem - the answer is political.
The metric is easy - fair representation of the vote. For example, let's say we have a state with 10 congressional districts and the vote overall across the state is 51% D - 49% R you'd expect a rough 5-5 split. If the split is say 8-2 or 7-3 then you probably need to adjust the districts. This is simplified to be sure but you have states like Maryland which have ridiculous splits in one direction and it is due to the politicians controlling their own districts. If you really think about it, the fox guarding the hen house is a fine starting point but it is more like the fox designing how the hen house is filled with hens on top. It breaks the accountability loop that is the whole damn point of the system. Otherwise, you get what we see now which is accountability to the *party* ergo Trump.
Last edited by malchior on Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by em2nought » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:32 pm

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:17 pm
em2nought wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:10 pm
So they can't take my firearms away for throwing your milkshake back at you? Sounds reasonable. :wink:
Both men were convicted by juries of brandishing short-barreled shotguns
They call that "throwing a milkshake" where you're from?

Guess we'll find out when there's a spate of prison releases after 30 years of convictions are overturned.
In my sleep deprived stupor, I accidentally read that as "confiscations" instead of "convictions"
The Supreme Court on Monday ruled 5-4 that a federal law allowing for gun convictions relating to "a crime of violence" was too vague.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by noxiousdog » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:41 pm

malchior wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:32 pm
The metric is easy - fair representation of the vote. For example, let's say we have a state with 10 congressional districts and the vote overall across the state is 51% D - 49% R you'd expect a rough 5-5 split. If the split is say 8-2 or 7-3 then you probably need to adjust the districts. This is simplified to be sure but you have states like Maryland which have ridiculous splits in one direction and it is due to the politicians controlling their own districts. If you really think about it, the fox guarding the hen house is a fine starting point but it is more like the fox designing how the hen house is filled with hens on top. It breaks the accountability loop that is the whole damn point of the system. Otherwise, you get what we see now which is accountability to the *party* ergo Trump.
That works if all you care about is R/D split. What about minority representation?
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by stessier » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:44 pm

malchior wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:32 pm
stessier wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:02 pm
malchior wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:38 pm
stessier wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:00 pm
YellowKing wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:45 pm
North Carolina is a prime example of why "leaving it in the hands of the states" isn't going to work. NC already has a GOP legislature cemented in place due to gerrymandering. Leaving it in their hands is putting the fox in charge of the hen house. How are NC voters supposed to put an end to a problem that is designed to keep them from doing just that?
I'm not sure, but after reading a few 538 articles on the ways to draw districts, I'm not sure there is anything but a political answer to the question.
Non-partisan committees or computer drawn districts are the way to go most likely.
To what end? What is the metric they are trying to satisfy? That is the problem - the answer is political.
The metric is easy - fair representation of the vote. For example, let's say we have a state with 10 congressional districts and the vote overall across the state is 51% D - 49% R you'd expect a rough 5-5 split. If the split is say 8-2 or 7-3 then you probably need to adjust the districts. This is simplified to be sure but you have states like Maryland which have ridiculous splits in one direction and it is due to the politicians controlling their own districts. If you really think about it, the fox guarding the hen house is a fine starting point but it is more like the fox designing how the hen house is filled with hens on top. It breaks the accountability loop that is the whole damn point of the system. Otherwise, you get what we see now which is accountability to the *party* ergo Trump.
Then you are fine with gerrymandering - because to get districts with those splits you are going to have some really, really weird looking districts (you can go to 538 where they draw a bunch of different maps to serve different goals). And then the question becomes are the representatives supposed to represent the people's needs in an area or the higher national interest? What I mean is, to meet your goal, districts could end up grouping people with greatly different needs just to get a Dem or Rep label. How will that help the representative serve their constituents?
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malchior
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:34 pm

stessier wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:44 pm
Then you are fine with gerrymandering - because to get districts with those splits you are going to have some really, really weird looking districts (you can go to 538 where they draw a bunch of different maps to serve different goals).
I've seen the article. Edit: I think this is an interesting focus about what they said. They pretty much laid out the case that gerrymandering was happening and it favored the Republicans heavily and now both sides are doing it. Analysis here: They are locked in a gerrymandering arms race. Out in the real world some states have rolled out non-partisan approaches in some states. They've shown more reasonable representation. Anyway - it should be about how the representation functions - not how the district looks on a map.
And then the question becomes are the representatives supposed to represent the people's needs in an area or the higher national interest? What I mean is, to meet your goal, districts could end up grouping people with greatly different needs just to get a Dem or Rep label. How will that help the representative serve their constituents?
It is a question of area as in geography versus as people. In the end, the outcome is almost certainly going to be a candidate from 1 of 2 parties. So no matter what you end up with a representative who has to align generally to a national party agenda and then mix in local issues. What happens with heavy gerrymandering is that people get intentionally, artificially fragmented and lumped in with groups that lean far from their national preferences. Often along racial lines. That is the problem in a nutshell. It changes the dynamic from one where they respond to their constituents holistically to another where they have to focus on only the party constituents. It is a big difference and has been driving the extremism we see.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Holman » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:04 pm

The House is too small. The Apportionment Act of 1911 capped representatives at 435. The U.S. population has more than tripled since then.

The Founders originally imagined that representatives would personally know the people (well, the leading families) in the districts they represented.

None of this works in the 21st century.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by LawBeefaroni » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:32 pm

Wasn't it until 1913 that state legislatures elected Senators? Not sure why the arrangement we have now on the house side is sacrosanct.

Granted, changing it is another matter of course.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by stessier » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:12 am

malchior wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:34 pm
stessier wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:44 pm
Then you are fine with gerrymandering - because to get districts with those splits you are going to have some really, really weird looking districts (you can go to 538 where they draw a bunch of different maps to serve different goals).
I've seen the article. Edit: I think this is an interesting focus about what they said. They pretty much laid out the case that gerrymandering was happening and it favored the Republicans heavily and now both sides are doing it. Analysis here: They are locked in a gerrymandering arms race. Out in the real world some states have rolled out non-partisan approaches in some states. They've shown more reasonable representation. Anyway - it should be about how the representation functions - not how the district looks on a map.
I agree with most of that. I disagree that you can ever make it about how the representation functions. Trying to legislate/police/design a system where that works would be a nightmare. I agree with Holman that the House is too small. But none of what you've written suggests the courts should get involved. These are all political questions, not matters of law.
And then the question becomes are the representatives supposed to represent the people's needs in an area or the higher national interest? What I mean is, to meet your goal, districts could end up grouping people with greatly different needs just to get a Dem or Rep label. How will that help the representative serve their constituents?
It is a question of area as in geography versus as people. In the end, the outcome is almost certainly going to be a candidate from 1 of 2 parties. So no matter what you end up with a representative who has to align generally to a national party agenda and then mix in local issues. What happens with heavy gerrymandering is that people get intentionally, artificially fragmented and lumped in with groups that lean far from their national preferences. Often along racial lines. That is the problem in a nutshell. It changes the dynamic from one where they respond to their constituents holistically to another where they have to focus on only the party constituents. It is a big difference and has been driving the extremism we see.
You're still suggesting that gerrymandering in general is bad. You have to come up with a new way of talking about it because your proposed solution is most definitely gerrymandering.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior » Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:06 am

stessier wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:12 am
But none of what you've written suggests the courts should get involved. These are all political questions, not matters of law.
This is not a cohesive or realistic framework (as we will all soon find out). Besides, the system is based of laws about how districts are designed. So interpreting that law is in their power and moreso the judicial branch is perhaps the only party that can potentially neutrally arbitrate disagreements here. The politicians drawing their own districts in a blood match is ridiculous when both sides are racing to weaponize it. This was an especially terrible moment in time to avoid the question since this is the inflection point where things are really going sideways.
You're still suggesting that gerrymandering in general is bad. You have to come up with a new way of talking about it because your proposed solution is most definitely gerrymandering.
I can't figure this one out. The Webster definition of gerrymander as a verb is to "to divide or arrange (a territorial unit) into election districts in a way that gives one political party an unfair advantage". I'm talking about the exact opposite. Go back to my first post after where you asked about a metric. Again my metric is simple. It is closest to representing the overall vote that reflects the State's overall preferences across the districts they have.

There are several ways to fix this as Holman pointed out and probably a combination approach is best. If the size of the House was increased it would shrink the district sizes and would potentially be able to find better fits. Then non-partisan approaches could be used to find the fairest fit that doesn't favor one party over the other.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by stessier » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:03 pm

malchior wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:06 am
You're still suggesting that gerrymandering in general is bad. You have to come up with a new way of talking about it because your proposed solution is most definitely gerrymandering.
I can't figure this one out. The Webster definition of gerrymander as a verb is to "to divide or arrange (a territorial unit) into election districts in a way that gives one political party an unfair advantage". I'm talking about the exact opposite. Go back to my first post after where you asked about a metric. Again my metric is simple. It is closest to representing the overall vote that reflects the State's overall preferences across the districts they have.
You're looking at the map and saying it's fair because the districts should break evenly. I'm saying the map is gerrymandered because each individual district is drawn to give one party an advantage. If you draw a district so that it should always breaks Democrat, that's gerrymandered.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:52 pm

stessier wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:03 pm
malchior wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:06 am
You're still suggesting that gerrymandering in general is bad. You have to come up with a new way of talking about it because your proposed solution is most definitely gerrymandering.
I can't figure this one out. The Webster definition of gerrymander as a verb is to "to divide or arrange (a territorial unit) into election districts in a way that gives one political party an unfair advantage". I'm talking about the exact opposite. Go back to my first post after where you asked about a metric. Again my metric is simple. It is closest to representing the overall vote that reflects the State's overall preferences across the districts they have.
You're looking at the map and saying it's fair because the districts should break evenly. I'm saying the map is gerrymandered because each individual district is drawn to give one party an advantage. If you draw a district so that it should always breaks Democrat, that's gerrymandered.
I don't know if this is obtuse reading or a strawman but nowhere did I say the districts should break evenly or for any party. I am saying they overall should generally track to the vote. It is a statistical grouping problem. There are ways to solve it - not perfect - but likely better than expecting the politicians to suddenly resist skewing the results via the re-districting process...that they control and benefit from.

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by Blackhawk » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:06 pm

The only real solution I see is to reset the system entirely. Districting this way doesn't work, and is very prone to abuse and imbalance. There has to be a better way.
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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by LordMortis » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:07 pm

Watching how the courts shit on the proposal passed in my state after the GOP tried to suppress anti gerrymandering in every way possible and losing to popular vote of over 61% approval, this feels like dangerous territory. Like another support beam gave way. If voting is what we have to affect change and then you come back and say from the federal level, we have no way to tell of 61% of the voter turnout demanding this change right here, right now is
not equipped to apportion political power as a matter of fairness, nor is there any basis for concluding that they were authorized to do so,
then what is the recourse? What is the recourse when they lawmakers refuse to be voted out office and the courts say "we don't know what fair is, so we can't get involved in what is legal. Suck it up."

This is not a rhetorical question. This is not hyperbole. What is the next step?

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Re: SCOTUS Watch

Post by malchior » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:16 pm

LordMortis wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:07 pm
This is not a rhetorical question. This is not hyperbole. What is the next step?
This is why I don't think the process can be purely political without risking instability...or too much stability. There needs to be an independent referee. Whether it is the courts or an independent body, say a commission, there needs to be someone outside the process keeping it fair. Expecting politicians today to do that themselves is pretty naive.

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