In yet another blow for Republicans, the Supreme Court of the United States declined yesterday to take up the case of Pennsylvania gerrymandering. In a terse single-sentence order, the Court refused — for a second time — even to consider the merits of a GOP-led lawsuit seeking to block redistricting efforts that will make voting in Pennsylvania fair again. The order did not reference any dissent and appears to foreclose the complaint; though there is no guarantee it will prevent continued whining from Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers.
The first time the GOP effort arrived before the Court in February, Justice Samuel Alito — a George W. Bush conservative appointee — refused to refer the emergency request to the full Court. His action last month seemingly indicated that he thought the legal challenge was meritless and a waste of time for the Court’s full panel. Yesterday’s summary order had the dismissive air reserved for petulant children and should send a clear message to Republicans considering additional challenges.
Additionally on Monday, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania dismissed a challenge by two GOP senators and eight congressional representatives. The judges for the panel of the Middle District ruled that the GOP lawmakers were without standing to bring suit because they did not speak for the entire generally assembly. In other words, the elected officials’ suit was likely interpreted more for personal gain than that of the public good.
In both instances, we believe the courts have restored some semblance of democracy to Pennsylvania’s erratically drawn districts that tilted the balance in favor of the GOP — regardless of how votes may have been tallied in an election.
Beyond silencing the GOP complainers, the Supreme Court has delivered a fundamental message to the electorate today that contributes a small measure of faith in the “one-voice, one-vote” concept. While America is far from the actual practice of individual votes, reducing gerrymandering restores integrity to an otherwise damaged system that has strayed from original intentions. It is an empowering statement by the court in support of broken and forgotten voices.
Conversely, the GOP’s continued complaining about losing an unfair advantage is another black eye on a party with a serious public image problem. It reflects poorly on the men and women of the party, but is also a disrespectful statement against the voters whose voices the GOP disregards. Justice Alito’s pithy order yesterday returns the GOP’s attitude with the force of a hurricane and regards the party complainers with the same dismissiveness the GOP has shown minority voters.
While the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the nation still have a long way to go to achieve fairness and equality, Monday’s judicial rulings have demonstrated again the valuable function of a triumvirate form of government. The checks and balances for the people have not been completely severed, despite a year of near autocratic rule by America’s crazy blonde version of Hitler.
Republican lawmakers now face a choice: to adapt and survive for the benefit of the people they serve, or find new professions. With midterm elections only months away, and 2020 fast approaching, hardline legislators may want to consider brushing off their resumes and revising their career skills. Professional “cheater” no longer holds as much sway today as it did yesterday.