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1 Dark_Falcon  Wed, Dec 12, 2012 10:43:30am

The problem with Section 5 has become that in some places some minorities, mostly Latinos, are quite throughly mixed in with other ethnic groups, such that its impossible to draw districts without having them be a mass of ethnic islands. The question is what to do about that, which is a matter SCOTUS can only partially answer (courts can only uphold or strike down, they cannot amend a law to reflect changing demographics, only Congress can do that).

2 Lidane  Wed, Dec 12, 2012 12:10:51pm

re: #1 Dark_Falcon

Maybe if the GOP stopped trying to gerrymander every goddamn district they wouldn't have this problem.

3 Dark_Falcon  Wed, Dec 12, 2012 3:16:13pm

re: #2 Lidane

Maybe if the GOP stopped trying to gerrymander every goddamn district they wouldn't have this problem.

That's not explanation enough, since even lines draw by judges and intended to be neutral got challenged.

I'd also remind you that Illinois Democrats gerrymandered just as shamelessly as Texas Republicans.

4 EPR-radar  Wed, Dec 12, 2012 4:18:04pm

Given what the GOP has been up to in places where they have local control (e.g., FL, OH) with voter suppression efforts (e.g., voter ID, a pattern of longer lines in urban/dem districts etc.), it is ridiculous to revisit pre-clearance in the Voting Rights Act.

Gerrymandering isn't really the issue, and tends to confuse the issue because both parties usually gerrymander when they can. However, there is no Democratic party effort that is remotely comparable to GOP voter suppression.

5 ThomasLite  Wed, Dec 12, 2012 7:29:08pm

Maybe this is woefully naive of me, but isn't the fact they're hearing this just after an election which has in many places shown the continued need for such legislation something which enhances it's chance of being upheld?
It sure seems like it would be easier to argue for this section 5 thingy now than ten years ago, from where I'm standing.

6 EPR-radar  Wed, Dec 12, 2012 7:32:22pm

re: #5 ThomasLite

Maybe this is woefully naive of me, but isn't the fact they're hearing this just after an election which has in many places shown the continued need for such legislation something which enhances it's chance of being upheld?
It sure seems like it would be easier to argue for this section 5 thingy now than ten years ago, from where I'm standing.

The problem is that if a law is to be kept in place, the Supreme Court doesn't need to address the issue at all. Thus, action by the Court suggests the likelihood of striking this part of the VRA down.

7 ThomasLite  Wed, Dec 12, 2012 8:58:15pm

re: #6 EPR-radar

The problem is that if a law is to be kept in place, the Supreme Court doesn't need to address the issue at all. Thus, action by the Court suggests the likelihood of striking this part of the VRA down.

Doesn't scotus hear plenty "controversial" issues only to uphold them in full, though? Or just to clarify, or even just make society feel it's concerns are heard? Our highest court sure does - I was under the impression scotus did too.

8 EPR-radar  Wed, Dec 12, 2012 9:04:55pm

re: #7 ThomasLite

I don't think SCOTUS does too much 100% affirming of existing law. Petitions for review are granted relatively rarely (I think the rate is 10% or so), which wouldn't leave much room for re-affirming things. They are likelier to take a case if there are conflicting decisions in lower courts (I don't know if this is an issue with the VRA case).

It take 4 votes to hears a case, and, to put it crudely, I view the VRA challenge as a RW hobby horse. That would mean 4 votes to overturn. The question is whether these justices can find a 5th vote.


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