With the 244th Independence Day at hand—must include the first one in 1776—the United States Supreme Court couldn’t be much more screwed up. Very un-American, they decided it would be good to inhibit compromise in law making.
It’s because of gerrymandering. Here’s how it works:
- What’s the first business of most congressmen? Getting re-elected.
- Solution: Draw congressional lines to a narrow ideology then be that ideology.
NET RESULT: Don’t reach across the aisle. Don’t compromise.
Two examples of how this plays out: Note Justice Antonin Scalia died, 2/13/16. We needed a new Justice for the Supreme Court.
EXAMPLE 1: Ideologically narrow Republicans blocked Obama’s 8th year appointment of a new justie—the senate refused to consider or approve until after the next presidential election in 11/16—then the new Republican President, Donald Trump, and the Republican Senate, quickly loaded the U.S.S.C. with conservatives Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Now the U.S.S.C. has green-lighted gerrymandering which favors majorities and disadvantages minorities.
EXAMPLE 2: Taking advantage of the current conservative lean on the Supreme Court, states are passing extreme abortion laws designed to be challenged so they can get to the Supreme Court and overturn Roe v. Wade.
These are some of the effects of narrowly drawn congressional districts. But the American Way is supposed to include compromise, to serve conflicting interests.
As Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence and our third President, stated in his first inaugural address, March 4, 1801:
“All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.”
The idea is false that hard-lining districts will collect into an overall compromise when congress votes. What happens, instead, is that whomever holds the majority seats passes legislation that favors its own narrow views—and blocks the efforts of minority seats.
This diverse nation cannot function without compromise.
Gerrymandering removes compromise and rewards zealous, extreme ideation that benefits majorities.
The best congressional districts would be more geographically laid out, not laid along ideological lines.