Monday, June 18, 2018

Court districting ruling gives WI Dems 2nd chance, blue wave impetus

The US Supreme Court today didn't completely close a key door to democracy. It just made knocking on more doors more important.

What the Supreme Court strategically did was avoid an up-or-down ruling on the Wisconsin gerrymandering case, thus disappointing Democrats who'd hoped for a clearer blue-wave path at the polls this fall while easing Republican anxieties over legal fair play they will always favor suppressing.

I commend to you from Supreme Court scholar Rick Hasen his explanation of the internal, Court politics which continue to drive stall the issue, and direct you to ways to help the plaintiffs.

A few off-the-top-of-my observations:

*  Once again, we learned that it's risky predicting what the Supreme Court will do. I'd heard everything from 'we're gonna win 6-3' - - nope! - - to 'the Court will flat-out validate current law' - - not exactly.

*  While the ruling leaves in place a fouled redistricting landscape that favors Republicans who structured it through secrecy and dirty poolthe Democratic plaintiffs are alive to fight another day because the Court basically told the Dems how to fix a procedural flaw which the Justices, by a 7-2 vote, said needed repairing.

Sure, it'd be disappointing for a professor to return your term paper with a grade of incomplete, but then you see a note attached which says, 'here's how to return it for regrading.'

*  Bottom line: courts are not going to save democracy in Wisconsin, just like Robert Mueller isn't going to save the Republic. Only we the voters can do that, and, yes, today's ruling makes that more burdensome is also a reminder that old-fashioned organizing, despite the obstacles, and opponents who intentionally create even more, will always be the solution.

Yes, it's hard work that just got harder. I'm hoping, despite all the awful national news, and the post-recall setbacks in Wisconsin, that we all have the energy we need to win meaningful gains in Wisconsin in November, and in the State Supreme Court race in 2019, and than in 2020.

And progressives have solid, persuasive grassroots issues to win with  - - state roads in ruins, a state deer herd infected with a spreading epidemic Walker and his corporate-attuned DNR have ignored, state rivers persistently more polluted, groundwater consistently too dirty to drink, out-of-control special interests, and state budget turned over by the billions of tax dollars to one foreign business exempted from fundamental legal and environmental rules which apply to everyone else - - all while Walker buys his way with public money towards a third term, perhaps more.

So: let's take what the Supreme Court gave us, and use what's at our fingertips, and get busy restoring democracy in Wisconsin, one voter-at-one-door at a time. 

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