Those who care about the right to vote have been out in full force. We showed Republicans that we don’t accept their repeated attempts to suppress our rights, but what can we do to stop the gerrymandering? Republicans have always tried to skew things in their favor when it comes to elections. Why? They have no interest in serving the people. Is it all about power? Money? What? In examining those questions, let us look at two examples where Republicans lost but are bringing the issue back to the forefront.
In North Carolina, Republicans lost their bid to gerrymander districts. Their map was thrown out. Now, however, they’ve put “friendly” judges in place and want to revisit the issue. The case has been litigated, and in most instances, it would not be relitigated, but with Republican judges now in place, they have been granted another opportunity. Should Republicans prevail, they will be granted four additional seats and gain 11 of the 14 districts in the state. When the case was thrown out before, the result left a 50-50 split between Democrats and Republicans, as it should be in every case. Something similar is happening in Ohio.
Ohio’s Supreme Court also tossed a gerrymandered map. The court has also now been filled with Republicans, and if they have their way, Republicans can double their House majority from 5 to 10. When those maps were tossed, Justice Maureen O’Connor, who is Republican, sided with the Democratic justices, ruling that the maps violated the state constitution. Justice O’Connor, however, chose not to run for reelection, and even though she was Republican, she has been replaced by a more hardline Republican who will side with the Republican-controlled legislature. Two Ohio Democratic seats are being watched, Marcy Kaptur and Emilia Sykes, as their districts are in danger of being redistricted by new maps. While Republicans are also eyeing the district containing Cincinnati, that one will be tougher for them because cities cannot be divided between two districts. As Politico reported, a Democrat won that district for the first time in 14 years, and that likely won’t change.
Republicans want to win at any cost and at anyone’s expense. Everyone is entitled to representation by people who share their ideals. It is not right that people must be ruled by those in whom they don’t believe or that one group can take over and rule as they see fit to the detriment of the remaining citizens of the state. What happens with both states will ultimately come to a head before the U.S. Supreme Court, and it is very unclear how that will turn out.
When North Carolina’s case first appeared before SCOTUS, Politico reported that they seemed “chilly” to North Carolina’s arguments surrounding the “Independent State Legislature” doctrine, which argues that state courts have no authority to police legislatures. Someone needs to do it, as they are obviously not going to do it themselves. The outcome of these cases will be watched by the nation and, likely, the world, as they will set up how 2024 looks for the American people.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years