In 1812, Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry presided over the redrawing of state senate election districts. He signed a bill to redistrict Bay State senate districts to benefit his Demoractic-Republican Party. When mapped, one of the contorted districts was said to resemble the shape of a mythological salamander (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerrymandering#Etymology). That’s the origin of gerrymandering as we have come to know it. See the cartoon in the Wikipedia article.
Yesterday, our Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two gerrymandering cases, one from North Carolina, where Republicans intentionally redrew district lines to benefit themselves, and the other from Maryland, where Democrats did the same thing to benefit themselves.
Last term, SCOTUS heard a gerrymandering case from Wisconsin, but ducked.
Associate solitary reporter Keith Coleman, the author of the forthcoming book, The Supreme Court in the Trump Era and Where to Find a Bomb Shelter to Protect Yourself from the Coming Apocalypse, was in the courtroom when Chief Justice John Roberts and his eight colleagues heard the two cases.
ASR Coleman was not in the least surprised when, at the conclusion of the arguments, Chief Justice Roberts ruled from the bench.
“We Republican appointees are highly skeptical of jumping into the political thicket,” Roberts began.
“I join with Justices Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh in ruling that state legislatures can draw or redraw congressional and legislative districts however they want.”
“Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor dissent. They all agree that gerrymandering is a highly perfidious practice that can only be remedied by sensible legislators and sensible, independent commissions.”
After Chief Justice Roberts gavelled the proceedings to a close, Coleman and DNC Chairman Tom Perez held a press conference outside the SCOTUS building, as curious bystanders rushed up to Coleman to order his book.
“All of that Republican claptrap you’ve been hearing about for well over two years,” Perez said — “all that will change after we elect a Democrat to the White House.”
Perez would not say whether the DNC supports current moves in Congress to expand the membership of the Supreme Court from nine to fifteen. He did, however, say that he would be happy to be nominated to the Supreme Court by the next Democratic president.