High Court says ‘never mind’ on gerrymandering



June 20, 2018 - 11:00 PM

After raising expectations that it would finally deal with the harm caused by partisan gerrymandering, the Supreme Court on Monday essentially said: “Never mind.” It was an exasperating abdication of responsibility by the court, which should have used the cases before it to strike a blow against the time-dishonored practice of drawing legislative lines to favor the party in power.

Along with many Americans, we had strongly hoped that the court would rule that the Constitution prohibits the unfair rigging of congressional and legislative electoral maps in an effort to entrench one party and weaken another. Such a ruling would have struck a long overdue blow for representative government and put an end to a system that dilutes votes, makes elections less competitive and allows candidates to win seats they would not have won otherwise. Political gerrymandering exacerbates political polarization and denies Americans their right to full participation in the political system.

It is a cynical and undemocratic — but not yet illegal — process that is engaged in by both parties and which is only likely to be solved by the courts.

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