In my last post, I discussed how hopelessly uncompetitive elections for the U.S. House are.
That’s because of the way legislators have drawn the districts, to make each one “safe” for one party or the other. In the South, and especially in South Carolina, that has involved Republican majorities drawing a few super-safe districts for black Democrats, while making the districts around them even safer for white Republicans — and ensuring GOP majorities in statehouses.
Thus far, the courts have allowed this sort of thing. Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court has a chance to change that:
… But the Supreme Court has decided to step into this one and will hear arguments in the matter next week. The justices are being asked to find that, as has happened many times in Alabama’s history, race played an improper role in how the state was reapportioned.
But the essence of the allegation is not that Republicans made it too hard for African American candidates to be elected. It’s that they made it too easy.
The challengers said the mapmakers packed African American voters into districts where they already enjoyed a majority, diluting their power elsewhere and easing the way for white Republicans to win everything else.
A three-judge panel that examined the 2012 redistricting process ruled 2 to 1 that the plan enacted by Alabama was constitutional and said the legislature’s intentions were not improper.
The challengers — black elected officials and the Alabama Democratic Conference — alleged that the plans “were the product of a grand Republican strategy to make the Democratic Party the ‘black party’ and the Republican Party the ‘white party,’ ” wrote Judge William H. Pryor Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. “The record does not support that theory.”,,,
The good judge must not be looking at the record closely enough.
Here’s hoping the Supremes see the situation more clearly. If so, the nation could take a step back toward having actual choices in the fall. And a step away from the madness of election legislators and members of Congress who see themselves as elected entirely by people of one race or the other. Which has never been a healthy thing for our republic.