Today the Supreme Court issued two major opinions with profound implications for American politics. It blocked, for now, adding a question about citizenship on the 2020 Census in Department of Commerce vs. New York. In Rucho v. Common Cause, the Court permanently killed off allowing federal courts to decide that a legislative map gave one side too much of a partisan advantage.
It was a bad day for the right, a very bad day for the left, and an extremely bad day for Chief Justice John Roberts.
First, the very bad day for the left. For years, the institutional left has been trying to strip state legislatures of power and give it to federal courts. They wanted federal judges to have the power to say that a given legislative map helped one political party too much. For example, if a state voted 52 percent to 48 percent, then state and congressional legislative lines should apportion power in roughly the same percentages. If they didn’t, federal courts should get to decide the legislative lines.
Giving federal courts the power to rule on partisan imbalances in legislative lines has been a top priority of Democrats and leftist process hounds for years. Why? Because the vast majority of America, when considered state by state, leans right and elects Republicans to majorities in state legislatures. They wanted federal judges in those states to blunt the power of state legislatures.
Today the Supreme Court drove a final stake through the heart of partisan gerrymandering cases. They are done, dead, RIP. Consider this their obituary.
The Court ruled that these are political questions, that the Constitution vests power in state legislatures to draw their own lines and to set the rules of line drawing. Power should reside with the people, not federal courts with life tenure.
That makes it a very, very bad day for funders who had poured millions of dollars into the left’s efforts to have federal courts erode decisions made by Republican state legislatures.
But in another decision, it was a bad day for the right and those who want to collect data on how many aliens are in the United States. The Court blocked, for now, the proposed citizenship question on the 2020 Census.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Chief Justice John Roberts cast the deciding vote along with the four liberal justices. Writing for the Court, Roberts agreed that Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross had the power and authority to add the question, but something just didn’t smell right.
Over the last few weeks, the ACLU has bombarded the Court with letters, missives, complaints, and self-proclaimed bombshells containing conspiracy theories on the “real” origins of the Census question. It’s not as bad as O.J.’s quest for the real killer, but it’s close.
Naturally the compliant leftist media at CNN and the Washington Post has had an endless parade of stories. See, they know who still takes the mainstream media seriously, and today they won five votes to block the question.
It’s a shame that five votes validated these extracurricular mob tactics after the briefing was complete. It provides a roadmap for future last-minute efforts to influence the Supreme Court. One suspects Chief Justice Janice Rogers Brown or Chief Justice Edith Jones would not have sided with the left to block the Census question. Whether or not the citizenship question can still be added to the Census before the printer needs the final proofs remains to be seen.