Democrats Are Using Courts To Take Redistricting Power Away From Legislatures

RNLA Executive Director Michael Thielen wrote today in The Daily Callerabout how Democrats are trying - successfully - to seize political control by using the courts to control redistricting:

Democrats and their liberal allies, not satisfied with their results at the ballot box and in the legislatures, have turned to the courts to enact their radical agenda by fiat, without the input of the people as intended in our system of constitutional government.

Courts are increasingly deciding redistricting cases and enacting entirely new maps by judicial fiat: 

Commonly called redistricting (when done in a way you like) or gerrymandering (when done in a way you dislike), states have established procedures whereby the state legislature or a special redistricting commission determines the districts for federal congressional and state legislative races after each decennial census. This has an enormous practical impact on elections, as it not only divides voters into constituencies but also decides which candidates may represent which group of voters. 

Redistricting is, at best, a confusing area of law. The guidelines provided in past Supreme Court cases are vague and applied inconsistently by the courts. And the reasons for this are obvious. Unlike traditional “law,” which involves applying static statutes, case law, and regulations to a specific fact pattern, redistricting is an inherently political act. It is difficult for courts to assess the political judgments of a state legislature or commission and provide clear guidelines for adjudicating future political decisions.

The recent, overt seizure of power by the Democrat-controlled Pennsylvania Supreme Court to enact a map drawn by its selected expert provides is the starkest example of the Democrats' and their liberal allies' use of the courts to achieve a result they could not obtain through the ballot box or the people's representatives: 

And that brings us back to the beginning. We are in a crisis of democracy over political control. Ultimate political power and accountability ultimately resides with the people, who exercise control through their elected representatives. Yet some courts, when presented with the opportunity from liberal activists’ lawsuits to undo and ignore the will of the people, jump at the chance to turn over political power to unelected, unaccountable experts.

The U.S. Supreme Court has three redistricting cases pending before it this term, which could dramatically change the law on redistricting. We hope that the Court provides some clear guidelines in this important area before the post-2020 redistricting so that the Democrats cannot use litigation to seize control of the district lines.