While Trump has been busy tweeting puerile, nasty things about the Red Hen restaurant, another blow has been dealt to our democracy. In an already racially charged atmosphere, the Supreme Court on Monday struck down a unanimous District Court decision to end racially biased gerrymandering in Texas.
The deciding vote was cast by Neil Gorsuch, the newest member of the Court, who was installed by Republicans after they successfully blocked President Obama’s nominee: the much respected Merrick Garland.
Justice Sonia Sotomayer issued a scorching dissent, writing:
The Court today goes out of its way to permit the State of Texas to use maps that the three-judge District Court unanimously found were adopted for the purpose of preserving the racial discrimination that tainted its previous maps. […]
It means that, after years of litigation and undeniable proof of intentional discrimination, minority voters in Texas—despite constituting a majority of the population of the State—will continue to be underrepresented in the political process.
As shown by the maps provided by Daily Kos, Texas could have drawn three more districts to fairly represent the Latino population, but instead chose to water down those votes with what has been described as “one of the most extreme and important Republican gerrymanders nationally.”
Because when you can’t win fairly, you cheat.
In other words, the Supreme Court ruled today that winning by any means necessary is just fine and dandy. Cheating is okay if it benefits a political party that can’t win any other way.
We are at a pivotal crossroads in the history of our Republic. We can no longer claim we are a democracy. When immigrants fleeing violent conditions are met with a closed border, even though the Constitution provides a process for asylum; when children are torn from their parents and locked in cages; when people of color are sent to prison for offenses that amount to a slap on the hand for white people; when they are shot dead in our streets for having the misfortune of being born black or brown; when an overwhelming majority of people want common sense gun laws, but Congress does nothing; when a president displays open disregard for the rule of law; when the Supreme Court backs organized racial discrimination – we are in danger of losing those precious freedoms Republicans are always screaming about.
Once a freedom is lost, it’s a hard thing to get back.
Remember in November. Take nothing for granted. #Resist