One Person: One Vote
The United States Constitution created voting districts to protect the fundamental constitutional principle of “one person, one vote.” “One person, one vote” is the governing principle of our democracy that makes every individual equal in the United States. “One person, one vote” is the bedrock of who we are as Americans.
Voting districts are apportioned based on each state’s population, as a percentage of the total U.S. population according to the latest U.S. Census. (The U.S. census is conducted every ten years). Districts are drawn by the party in power in the state. Gerrymandering is the “art” of drawing district lines to limit the voting opportunity of the opposing party, in breach of the “one person, one vote” principle.
Gill versus Whitford is the case brought before The U.S. Supreme Court by twelve Wisconsin voters who are suing on the grounds that gerrymandering in their state nullified their vote in the 2010 election.
Arguments were heard before The Court on October 3rd, 2017. Chief Justice Roberts expressed his concern with the case because overturning the current practices of gerrymandering would make the Supreme Court look biased toward Democrats in subsequent gerrymandering cases. In short, Chief Justice Robert’s personal beliefs, notably in tune with the current political climate, prevail over the U.S. constitution.
It’s worth noting that the Chief Justice Roberts used the pronoun “he” when describing who he believes is the average voting person. In his statement, he also presumed to know what men think, and he predicated his assumption on this, rather than the U.S. Constitution, as the basis for his reasoning. The Chief Justice of the United States appeared to be using the classic “reasoning” that the father in “Angela’s Ashes” used as an excuse for not doing the dirty work. While that character’s negligence ultimately destroyed a family, the idea was nonetheless: never let yourself be embarrassed or be ashamed, and let everyone else bear the burden of protecting you. It is the same reasoning that surrounded the call for repeal of the ACA. Detractors made the bill seem like a “dirty” scourge, until its real role in stabilizing our country and protecting our citizenry emerged.
Roberts has shown great courage in the past; but now our country’s descent into chaos rests on the false pride of those whose rage at those they consider “others,” has bound this country in a lethal grip. FBI Director James Comey was so terrified of enraging specific individuals and groups that he failed to do the right thing concerning Hillary Clinton. Now Roberts may be succumbing to the same phenomenon.
If the central question before our country today is how to defuse the polarization that has gripped our society, the answer surely lies in how we defuse it within ourselves. Justice in this era can only really occur with the sober, deep understanding that unfortunately people’s current judgment is being informed more by their fears, than by their moral compasses. May we all grow to challenge and reform this state of affairs. May it enable us to move onward and upwards.