Monday, February 22, 2016

Divided SCOTUS Lets Lower Court Ruling Against NC Gerrymandering Stand

In what may set the stage for the case involving Virginia Republican's appeal of lower court rulings, the now equally divided U.S. Supreme Court has let stand a case from North Carolina that likewise struck down GOP gerrymandered congressional districts.  The ruling may be the first of many where a divided court leaves lower court rulings in place that either (i) strike down right wing positions or (ii) restrict the damage to a single Court of Appeals circuit.  The ruling is likely to set the stage for GOP losses in both Virginia and North Carolina.  Politicususa looks at the result.  Here are excerpts:

The Republican Party and media/propaganda arm is up in arms over President Obama following the Constitution and nominating a replacement for the recently deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. But already the effects of a Scalia-less court are being felt.

And not in the GOP’s favor. Late on Friday – just before 10 pm – the Supreme Court let stand a February 5 ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina which ruled that congressional redistricting maps were invalid.

The state had been ordered by the district court to redraw two maps within two weeks. In effect, the maps in question were based on the race of voters. Both districts, the 1st and 12th, are majority black districts.

The state duly redrew the maps, as ordered, but requested a stay from the Supreme Court pending appeal. You know, with a big election coming up and all.

But now the Supreme Court has said no stay, which required five votes, and though SCOTUS hasn’t revealed what the vote totals were (no dissents are given on the order), it is possible that if Scalia had been alive as a crucial fifth vote, North Carolina would have gotten its stay.

Whether Obama nominates and has confirmed a replacement for Scalia, conservatives could continue to suffer. Poetic justice at the very least.

And it is not like the odds are good – except in their dreams – that they will have a man in the White House to nominate a justice more to their liking.  The GOP just had a very bad day.

No comments: