The Republicans do not have enough voters to win the next president, U.S. senators, or U.S. representatives. That is why they gerrymandered states’ districts into shapes that resemble various creatures living in the deepest oceans’ depths. When Democrats complained about this unfairness, especially to the black voter, the GOP basically said: so, sue me. Here is how the Dems responded.
Democrats took gerrymandering through the court system and all the way to the Supreme Court. What the Republicans were concerned about was the way the state legislative map had been drawn and was currently being used. It replaced the 2010 national census map.
By using gerrymandering, the Republicans could manipulate different electoral district’s boundaries with the express purpose of marginalizing specific voters. In Virginia, the Republicans had been accused of drawing up the district boundaries in order to “disadvantage black voters,” according to Reuters.
The justices decided five to four to not take up the case. This was a defeat for the Republicans in Virginia who have been violating the U.S. Constitution. Instead, the justices went with a prior court decision invalidating these crazy puzzle pieces of state electoral districts.
The Supreme Court found that the Virginia Republican-dominated House of Delegates did not have “the necessary legal standing” to even make an appeal in a lower court. The appeal said that gerrymandering invalidated 11 state House districts on the basis of “racial discrimination.” That will make a dramatic difference in the upcoming 2020 Virginia elections.
Virginia’s state attorney general Mark Herring (D), “the state’s top law enforcement official,” made the case opposing the appeal. He argued that these Republican legislators could not “act on behalf of the state in the case.”
A 2018 ruling by a three-judge federal panel ruled that 11 highly gerrymandered Virginia districts violated the rights of Virginia’s black voters. It said that black voters are entitled to “equal protection under the Constitution’s 14th Amendment.”
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the court’s majority opinion. In it, she said that the state’s (Virignia’s) House of Delegates:
‘…lacks authority to displace Virginia’s attorney general as representative of the state. In short, Virginia would rather stop than fight on. One house of its bicameral legislature cannot alone continue the litigation against the will of its partners in the legislative process.’
The changes in the electoral maps have resulted in gains for Democrats at the state and at the federal elections. Virginia’s governor Ralph Northam and Attorney General Herring are both Democrats. Many thought that the governor would step down after he was seen in a medical school black-face photo (1984) with all its racial consequences, but he did not.
The voters challenged Republicans of unfairly pushing black voters into districts that would decrease the power of their votes. The remaining gerrymandered districts were primarily white and most likely to support Republican candidates.
Virginia was one of the first states to import black slaves to work on their farms and plantations without fair compensation.
There are also two other major cases before the justices to decide whether the courts can use gerrymandering for a racial advantage. The cases arose from Maryland and North Carolina. The rulings on these two cases should be in by the end of June.