Gerrymandering v. SCOTUS

Guinevere Ellison-Giles
New York Times
Prominent Republicans Urge Supreme Court to End Gerrymandering

An article written by New York Times journalist, Adam Liptak, discussed the recent
events surrounding a meeting of prominent politicians, mainly Republicans, urging the Supreme Court to “rule that extreme gerrymandering violates the Constitution.” Gerrymandering, manipulating the boundaries of an electoral constituency so as to favor one party or class, has been occurring since our Constitution was written. In the editorial, Liptak continues to explain and quote many politicians, both Democrat and Republican’s beliefs and views regarding the subject. Elected officials at the brief believe that, as stated by Senator John McCain, a Republican, and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democratic, “Partisan gerrymandering has become a tool for powerful interests to distort the democratic process.” Liptak later explains that the Supreme Court will hear arguments surrounding this case in Gill v. Whitford No. 16-1161, on October 3rd of this year.

In the “We the People” textbook, containing facts and beliefs surrounding the Constitution and the creation of the United States government, it explains that after the government was put into place, gerrymandering was a large problem. Consequentially, it created large conflicts and encouraged bribery in the state and national government. It was found to be or at least considered to be under control after some finagling, yet still to this day, gerrymandering takes a large place in our government.

Although, now gerrymandering is legal under the United States Constitution, I do hope
that when the case Gill v. Whitford takes place that the Supreme Court will come to the
conclusion that this practice should not be considered constitutional. I believe that this manipulating of boundary lines to favor one party is unfair, to both the people and the
representatives, and it should be determined unlawful and prohibited.

What would be the advantages and disadvantages of selecting people to represent the interests of their states?

As declared by the Constitution in the 17th Amendment, Senators are to be appointed by
direct election. Direct election, the system of choosing political officeholders in which the voters directly cast ballots for the person, persons, or political party that they desire to see elected, has been the topic of debates for quite some time. People wonder if direct election is the best way to elect representatives for themselves.

There are many advantages which influenced the Founders of our country to institute a
direct election process. The most important advantage of direct election is that the people are in control; they have the responsibility, and are held accountable for the appointee or appointees.  Every person would have their own impact in the way their government is run. It also allows for people to be more involved in their government, more citizens would be able to care and educate themselves about important issues that would directly or indirectly affect them.

However, direct election has many disadvantages as well. The disadvantages well outweigh the advantages. As Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher, informed himself and others during his time, that a direct election creates an error and room for manipulation and corruption. It would be easy with some of the complexity of the issues to influence voters in a way that would not pertain to the actual election. Direct election would also require an understanding or expertise in the politics surrounding the voters, however many of these voters could not or would not fully or truly understand what or who they are voting for. In my opinion, direct election is not the best system for electing representatives. Still, the way the Founders constructed the election system, with a bicameral legislature, the Senate having a direct election has created a balance that is effective.


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