The Supreme Court is set to hear one of the biggest cases it has heard in years.
Neil Gorsuch joins the court just in time to hear an appeal of a lawsuit out of Wisconsin, where a panel of judges ruled that Wisconsin’s legislative maps were gerrymandered to the point where the repressed the First Amendment rights of citizens.
It’s a high stakes case and one that has the potential to transform the country. After a Republican wave in 2010, Republicans and Democrats, the latter of which to a lesser degree considering the partisan power shift, created maps where it was damn near impossible for the other party to win. This created situations like the one in Pennsylvania in 2012, where Republicans won fewer votes than Democrats, yet wound up with more seats in the House of Representatives.
It’s a very undemocratic practice.
And some of the legislatures that have emerged from the Tea Party rubble have used their unchecked power to oppress minority voters, attack women, expand the right to kill and restrict the collective bargaining power of workers. These politicians have started to create second class societies for people of color.
Organizing, turning out voters and protesting can only go so far when you live in a district that has a built in advantage of 30 percentage points to a Republican. To truly see the political power of the people maximized, it is necessary to have an even playing field. This starts with districts that conform to the popular vote.