APPEL: On The End Of The Congressional Redistricting Farce

So, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the litigation over Louisiana’s redistricting and restored the congressional map that the state legislature passed, over the veto of Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards and the attempted veto of Baton Rouge federal judge Shelly Dick.

No surprise.

SCOTUS has made clear that it doesn’t like “legislation” from the judicial bench, that instead legislation is the sole purview of the state legislatures. Or Congress, in the federal case.

But here is my question.

If the Supreme Court’s firm rule is that race is not to be used as a basis for redistricting, why do the media and Democrats insist that fairness dictates that the districts be set up by race? Just listen to what they say

“Justice delayed is justice denied. I mean right now we’re denying a sizable number of people in Louisana the opportunity to select the candidate of their choice,” said State Sen. Cleo Fields, D-Baton Rouge.

“I suppose that the court was going to issue a plan tomorrow and now the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court has said no just stand all, and we’re going to decide a case before us before you do anything else,” Fields said.

Fields, along with the other plaintiffs say Tuesday’s ruling is not a total loss for their case.

“We will get our day in court, and I have no fear of that at all. I wish we could take the case to court today because the evidence is that strong,” he said.

Fields issued a statement after the ruling.

“I am hopeful that when the court finally reviews the merits of this case, they will see that the facts are so strongly on the side of the plaintiffs that there will be no other way to rule than in favor of creating a second majority-black congressional district,” Fields said.

Similarly, Governor John Bel Edwards shared the same sentiments as Fields in his statement Monday.

“Today’s ruling from the Supreme Court is more than a little disappointing. The District Court’s well-reasoned 157 page decision clearly demonstrated that the maps passed by the legislature do not comply with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Black Louisianans make up one third of our population, and one third of our districts should be majority Black when such a map can be drawn, and, as has been clearly demonstrated, that map is more compact, better adheres to the legal principles governing redistricting, and will perform. As I have always maintained, it is about simple math, basic fairness, and the rule of law,” Edwards said.

This is just about using race as a basis for designing the districts. Which they know very well is contrary to the law.

So they are setting up a situation that they know will be struck down no matter what. I suppose they know that and are just trying to make the Legislature look bad.

Perhaps the answer to more minority representation lies in cultivating more qualified minority candidates who share values with the majority of their districts. Then, as in so many other states, race will take its rightful place as a non-sequitur here. T.K. Shannon, for example, is now in a runoff in Oklahoma for the GOP nomination in an open Senate seat. He’s got a decent, if underdog’s, chance to win. He’s a popular Speaker of the state House of Representatives.

Of course, developing minority candidates who can win majorities in districts not drawn as little fiefdoms isn’t what the Cleo Fieldses of the world want. Doing that takes away Democratic efforts to carve out another safe seat for themselves, so no matter what they will make fruitless gestures instead.

What folly this all is for us to endure.

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