Regardless of which political party you support, it should be obvious that in a functioning democracy, district lines should be drawn fairly, rather than rigged to benefit one side or the other.
Last May, Ohioans voted overwhelmingly for a bipartisan plan that will give the minority party much more say in the drawing of congressional maps. Lima’s Matt Huffman played a major role in developing the plan, which should result in fairer maps and more competitive elections for Congress starting in 2022. Ohio lawmakers think their reform could be a model for how states can fix gerrymandering on their own.
The U.S. Supreme Court fumbled an opportunity in June to deal a death blow to political gerrymandering when it disposed of two cases on narrow procedural grounds. But two new cases to be heard later this year give the court an opportunity to atone for that abdication in time to ensure that all congressional and state legislative district lines drawn after the 2020 census will be fair. One case to be heard in March involves the same Maryland congressional map the justices considered before, boundaries that were drawn by Democrats to eliminate a long-serving Republican incumbent. The other involves a map drawn by North Carolina’s Republican leaders that locked in a 10-3 GOP advantage in the state’s House delegation even though votes statewide were almost evenly split between the parties.
The Supreme Court has agonized about partisan gerrymandering for more than three decades. It’s time to rule.