Neil Gorsuch and his archaic beliefs about the Constitution just got outplayed in the middle of a Supreme Court session.
Gill v. Whitford is currently being argued before the Supreme Court. And the case will have significant repercussions on the future of elections across this country if the high court rules in favor of letting unfettered gerrymandering continue.
Gerrymandering has become a serious issue over the last few years as Republicans in red states have essentially drawn up maps that guarantee their political party will remain in power by creating ridiculously shaped districts that cut certain voters out make victory more likely for the ruling party.
Anyway, attorney Paul Smith was arguing his case to the Court when Neil Gorsuch, who was nominated by Donald Trump and confirmed by a Republican-controlled Senate to replace Antonin Scalia, interrupted him and began lecturing everyone about his originalist view of the Constitution.
According to LawNewz,
As Smith explained, Gorsuch tripped him up by bringing into play certain Constitutional minutiae–the republican (small-R) form of government clause–which derailed the explanation into an opportunity for Gorsuch to claim Smith was making an argument different from the argument that was actually being made. Gorsuch said, ‘Isn’t that — isn’t that exactly what you’re trying to do, though?’ To which Smith replied, ‘No.’ They went back and forth again–getting nowhere–and then Gorsuch cleared his throat, saying: ‘For that matter, maybe we can just for a second talk about the arcane matter, the Constitution.'”
“And where exactly do we get authority to revise state legislative lines?” Gorsuch ranted. “When — when the Constitution authorizes the federal government to step in on state — state legislative matters, it’s pretty clear. If you look at the Fifteenth Amendment, you look at the Nineteenth Amendment, the Twenty-Sixth Amendment, and even the Fourteenth Amendment, Section 2, says Congress has the power, when state legislators don’t provide the right to vote equally, to dilute congressional representation. Aren’t those all textual indications in the Constitution itself that maybe we ought to be cautious about stepping in here?”
In other words, Gorsuch argued that the Courts should not be used to correct wrongs because the Constitution supposedly already gives the people ways to get justice. You know, such as legislation, which would just so happen to have to be passed by the very lawmakers who are gerrymandering to rig the system in their favor. In short, lawmakers will not help the voting public because they have no interest in fair elections that could end their careers.
“Well, I don’t think there’s anything unusual about using the First Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment to regulate the abusive management of state elections by state government,” Smith shot back. “That’s what the Court has been doing.”
Indeed, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg nailed Gorsuch on this very point by asking a simple question that shined a light on Supreme Court precedent in this matter.
“Where did one-person/one-vote come from?” Ginsburg asked Smith.
As it turns out, one-person/one vote was “read into U.S. Constitutional law by Chief Justice Earl Warren via the case of Reynolds v. Sims.”
So there is a clear precedent of the courts stepping in to protect voters when lawmakers have no interest in doing so.
Neil Gorsuch sure does have egg on his face after this Supreme Court session. He just got owned, and by extension, so did Trump.
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