So, the U.S. Supreme Court has rendered its decision in the recent case regarding “gerrymandering” of congressional districts, or the drawing of these districts based on the partisan political leanings of whatever party is in charge of that process in any particular state. A wiser decision by the court could not have been reached.
First of all, let’s all agree that drawing district boundaries is, and always has been, a messy business. Even the term “gerrymandering” dates back more than 200 years when Elbridge Gerry, who, in 1812 as governor of Massachusetts, signed a bill creating an oddly shaped district that resembled a salamander.
The decision by SCOTUS has elicited predictable howls of protest from the left and their loyal servants in the media. Somehow, they believe that the job of drawing these district boundaries would be better done by unelected federal judges, which would be the inevitable outcome if the court had ruled otherwise. Actually, the left believes that they (i.e. Democrats) would gain a political advantage using the federal courts to approve or reject the district maps drawn by the states.
Leaving redistricting in the hands of state legislatures is a more democratic (with a small “d”) way for voters to voice their displeasure at how district boundaries are drawn. They have the opportunity to change the party composition of their legislature every election day. It may be an indirect way for voters to influence redistricting, but is far more preferable than having unelected (and therefore unanswerable) federal judges do this important task.