The Supreme Court Has Failed the Constitution
Author: Michael Waldman
Opinion: Eliza Sweren-Becker
Gerrymandering is nothing new. It happens when political insiders draw district lines to benefit themselves or their parties, or to squeeze minorities out of power. In the very first congressional election, Patrick Henry drew a misshapen district in a bid to keep James Madison from winning. But lately, with digital technology and partisan ruthlessness, gerrymandering has gotten much worse. Highly precise gerrymanders dilute the voting strength of an emerging nonwhite majority.
Gerrymandering may not stop the underrepresented from gaining power, but it can slow fair and accountable government. Consider North Carolina, one of the states whose rigged maps were blessed by the Supreme Court on Thursday. North Carolina’s electorate is evenly divided, yet the congressional map is deep-red; Republicans hold 10 seats, Democrats only three. How could that happen? The legislator in charge explained he would have created an even starker imbalance had it been feasible: “I do not believe it’s possible to draw a map with 11 Republicans and two Democrats.”