The Supreme Court of the United States handed down two decisions this morning. One was a massive failure for democrats, while the other, was only a partial win for the left.
In the liberal case against republican drawn district lines in Maryland and North Carolina, aka gerrymandering, the court ruled that previous decisions were vacated and the case dismissed!
The Hill reported:
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the court’s majority opinion that federal courts cannot consider such challenges.
The opinion vacates previous rulings on the district maps in Maryland and North Carolina, and requests that the cases be dismissed “for lack of jurisdiction.”
The split ruling was along ideological lines.
Roberts said in the majority opinion that none of the tests recommended by the parties in the case “provides a solid grounding for judges to take the extraordinary step of reallocating power and influence between political parties.”
He added that allowing courts to rule in such cases would be an overstep of the court’s judicial authorities, and he noted that cases over partisan gerrymandering often last in the courts for years, signaling that the court would be unwilling to repeatedly take up challenges to district maps.
“Excessive partisanship in districting leads to results that reasonably seem unjust. But the fact that such gerrymandering is ‘incompatible with democratic principles,’ does not mean that the solution lies with the federal judiciary,” Roberts wrote.
“We conclude that partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts. Federal judges have no license to reallocate political power between the two major political parties, with no plausible grant of authority in the Constitution, and no legal standards to limit and direct their decisions.”
In a stinging rebuttal, Justice Elena Kagan wrote: “For the first time ever, this court refuses to remedy a constitutional violation because it thinks the task beyond judicial capabilities.”
“In giving such gerrymanders a pass from judicial review, the majority goes tragically wrong,” she added.
Kagan underscored her level of opposition to the ruling by reading part of her dissent from the bench.
Democrats in North Carolina had challenged congressional districts drawn by Republicans, claiming that the state GOP crafted the map to favor their party.
And Republicans in Maryland had claimed that the state’s map was drawn in such a way that it intentionally eliminated a GOP congressional seat.
Thursday’s ruling also likely means that other pending litigation challenging other state’s congressional districts as partisan gerrymanders are likely to fail.
This is a giant win, but in the second case, which involved the citizenship question on the 2020 census, the court basically punted the ball and blocked the question for now.
Fox News reported:
The court said the administration’s explanation for adding such a question is insufficient and sent it back to the lower courts for further consideration. The ruling marks a setback for the administration, though the issue is not yet resolved.
Still, while further lower-court litigation is possible, it would be very difficult for the administration to get the question on the census in time for the forms to be printed by the government’s own self-declared summer deadline.
The 5-4 court majority raised concerns about the Trump administration’s explanations for their proposal. The ruling, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, said that the court was presented “with an explanation for agency action that is incongruent with what the record reveals about the agency’s priorities and decision making process.”
He added that the court “cannot ignore the disconnect between the decision made and the explanation given.”
The Supreme Court majority concluded the executive branch has broad authority to decide what goes onto the census, saying the survey routinely asks a range of questions on the form, beyond the number of people in a household. Roberts wrote that “neither respondents nor my colleagues have been able to identify any relevant, judicially manageable limits on the Secretary’s decision to put a core demographic question back on the census.”
But the opinion said “the evidence tells a story that does not match the explanation the [Commerce] Secretary gave for his decision.”
He continued: “In the Secretary’s telling, Commerce was simply acting on a routine data request from another agency. Yet the materials before us indicate that Commerce went to great lengths to elicit the request from DOJ (or any other willing agency).”
This case was one of the most closely watched cases of the court’s term, Department of Commerce v. New York, and explored exactly what led to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross deciding to include the question in the first place. The ruling comes after a ruling by the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, which said the question was improper.
At issue was whether Ross acted within his authority when he added the question. More specifically, there were questions as to whether he violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which sets standards for how federal agencies make changes, or the Enumeration Clause of the Constitution, which says that congressional representatives are apportioned to states based on their populations’ “numbers” and “persons.”
The four left-leaning Supreme Court justices also noted experts at the Census Bureau have said the citizenship question could lead to an undercount of as many as 6.5 million, especially in urban areas.
That fact alone is sickening! 6.5 million illegals? Something is very wrong with the country.
The dissenting judges blasted the decision, using both common sense and legal justification. But the decision isn’t a total loss. Hopefully, the administration will continue to fight.