I am not easily shocked these days, but an email sent by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee an hour and a half ago shocked me. First the email, then my comments on it. Click to enlarge:
The Supreme Court is not currently in session and issuing opinions, so I was puzzled as to what the Democratic Party was talking about. After a little poking around, I found that the Court issued an order yesterday in Abbott v. Perez, a case involving Texas redistricting. This is the text of yesterday’s order in its entirety:
The application for stay presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court is granted, and it is ordered that the order of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, case No. SA-11-CV-360, entered August 24, 2017, is stayed pending the timely filing and disposition of an appeal to this Court.
That’s it. The Democrats’ claims in their email are simply insane. The Court obviously did not “give racial gerrymandering the green light,” or “allow racial gerrymandering in Texas,” or “destroy our right to vote,” or “rule that racially gerrymandered districts in Texas were constitutional,” or issue a “blatant endorsement of voter suppression,” or make a “disgusting attack on our voting rights.” Nor does this plain vanilla order, which preserves the status quo until an appeal can be heard on the merits, mean that “We need laws that protect voting rights from bigots like Trump and Gorsuch.”
The New York Times explains what this is all about in a relatively objective manner:
The Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked rulings from a federal court in Texas that had called for revisions to congressional and state legislative districts in the state after the court found that the districts violated the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.
The Court didn’t “block” the district court’s order, it stayed the order to preserve the status quo until the State’s appeal can be heard, as is normally done. Nevertheless, the four Democratic Party justices who can be counted on to side with their party in cases where the Party’s interests are at stake dissented from the Court’s order.
There was an odd wrinkle in the case: The Texas court itself had for the most part endorsed the maps in 2012, after the Supreme Court rejected earlier ones and told the court to try again. The 2012 maps, the panel later said, had been considered in haste in advance of pending elections. In 2013, the Texas Legislature decided not to draw new maps and instead mostly adopted the one drawn by the court in San Antonio.
In August, after three election cycles using the interim maps, the court ruled that they were flawed. “Although this court had ‘approved’ the maps for use as interim maps, given the severe time constraints it was operating under at the time of their adoption,” the court said, that approval was “not based on a full examination of the record or the governing law” and was “subject to revision.”
So the San Antonio court ruled that the district map that it had itself approved, if not actually drawn, was unconstitutional. The State’s appeal brief highlighted the bizarreness of the Democrats’ position:
“The same map the three-judge court thought sufficient to comply with the Constitution and” the Voting Rights Act “when adopted by the court as a remedial map has now been declared unconstitutional when subsequently enacted into law by the branch of government responsible for redistricting under our Constitution,” state officials wrote in their application concerning the congressional districts. “That is both remarkable and unprecedented.”
“If repealing a purportedly discriminatory law in its entirety and replacing it with a law that has received the imprimatur of a federal court does not suffice to remove any lingering ‘taint’” from the 2011 maps, the brief said,“then it is difficult to imagine what could.”
It has been a long time since I have been a fan of the Democratic Party. But the hate speech to which the Democrats–not a few renegade party members, but the Democratic Party itself–now resort, is utterly beyond the pale. The leaders of the Democratic Party must understand that the wild charges they fling against people like Neil Gorsuch are not just false, but crazy. But they don’t care: power is their sole object.
We are living through a sad epoch in the history of our republic.