Partisan Gerrymandering: Courts Should Keep Out of the Debate

This article originally appeared in the National Review on June 23, 2019.

For the past few years, liberals have been pushing the courts to declare that partisan redistricting — the consideration of politics when drawing the boundaries of legislative districts — violates the Constitution. In fact, we are awaiting a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on this issue in two cases out of Maryland and North Carolina.

We hope that the Court will refuse to involve itself in the political thicket of the redistricting process. Engaging in politics does not violate the Constitution. Besides, the solution to gerrymandered districts should come from state legislatures, not the courts.

The allocation of representatives in a state legislature or in the U.S. House of Representatives is a fundamental political question that cannot be resolved without political considerations. Democrats know this, which is why they are demanding major revisions to the way elections are held for the U.S. House of Representatives in their H.R. 1 bill — major revisions they could exploit to increase their political power. Funny, they never complained about partisan redistricting that favored the Democrat party when they controlled a majority of state legislatures.

H.R. 1, the For the People Act of 2019, passed the House in March on a party-line vote. It would take away the constitutional authority of state legislatures to draw the boundaries of their congressional districts and would require states to set up supposedly “independent” redistricting commissions. The Democrats and their allies claim that this provision would ensure that congressional redistricting, when considered on a statewide basis, would not “unduly favor or disfavor any political party.”

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Author: Christine Ravold

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