Back to Top

Partisan Gerrymandering

"Imagine, if you will ..." - Rod Serling

In the popular social game "Imagine If...", players are asked to consider what they would do in a hypothetical situation. For instance, "what would you do if you had unlimited power to affect change?" Answers to these questions reflect the player's personal ethics and, perhaps, any personal limitations. But what no one playing the game seems to consider are the possible consequences of those hypothetical actions.

"Wheels within wheels in a spiral array, a pattern so grand and complex. Time after time, we lose sight of the way. Our causes can't see their effects."

After the 2020 Census, Texas, like many other states, was required to redraw the federal and state legislative districts to equalize the nominal count of residents in each legislative district. In Texas, this was done by a mostly Republican panel who (in my personal opinion) gerrymandered the new districts to heavily favor Republican legislative candidates. But when this was done in North Carolina in 2020, that map was condemned by their state court who ordered the map to be redrawn, but the Republican Party has asked that the SCOTUS hear their case in an effort to retain their new district boundaries.

The North Carolina Republicans at that time pushed to invalidate the state court's redistricting decision based on what is known as the "independent state legislature theory" (ISL), a dubious interpretation of the U.S. Constitution that would effectively remove the ability of state courts to check election-related laws made by state legislatures. So, what does that mean? In simpler language, the idea of "checks and balances" that are so candidly enshrined in both the federal and state governments would now be removed, and the state legislatures would be able to do anything that they wanted without any other entity - including their own state Supreme Court - to counter their actions; unlimited power without anyone or anything to stop them.

"All the busy little creatures chasing out their destinies. Living in their pools, they soon forget about the sea."

Fortunately for all of us, in June 2023, the US Supreme Court ruled in a 6–3 decision that the Elections Clause does not give state legislatures sole power over elections, rejecting independent state legislature theory. However, I must imagine that the Texas GOP had been salivating more than Pavlov's dogs at the possibilities should the SCOTUS decide in favor of the North Carolina GOP and the independent state legislature theory. If the SCOTUS case had found in favor of North Carolina's Republican Party and upheld the independent state legislature theory, I suspect that we would have quickly heard other state legislatures, including Texas', introducing and passing virtually any law - especially ones that would favor Republican ideology over that of anyone else - without significant repercussions.

"In their own image their world is fashioned. No wonder they don't understand."


Committee to Elect Darren Hamilton
Powered by - Political Campaign Websites
Close Menu