Black Votes Matter

I have perhaps spent too much time on the math and the engineering of perfect ideal non-gerrymandered districts, and it is a good ideal, and it is not enough.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 decreed that there shall be a few majority-minority districts in states that had historically discriminated against African Americans by gerrymandering away their ability to get a majority in any congressional district. This of course introduces a different kind of deviation away from what purely 'impartial' districts might be. We might call what the VRA did 'gerrymandering for good' in that it constructed districts towards a specific end, the classic mode of gerrymandering, but for a purpose we call good. We could call it 'electoral reparations'. In an ideal world we would not need this and we would have districts that were compact or guided by enlightened social interest towards representing identifiable regions of people with common regional interest. In an ideal world ideological and identity representation would be handled by a Proportional Representation system. But we do not live in an ideal world. Voter suppression in America, whether by under equipped precincts or by gerrymandering or by the poll tax of voter-id laws, primarily hurts the poor and non-white. I hope that someday we will build a more perfect union, but for now we still need those electoral reparations.


The SCOTUS Wisconsin Case

SCOTUS will hear the Wisconsin case. They've never overturned a partisan gerrymander, only racial gerrymanders. They could also still decline to rule on this case. By 5-4 they overturned the lower court's ruling that new districts needed to be enacted for this fall, so the gerrymander persists and justice will continue to be delayed and denied.
We could argue to SCOTUS that gerrymandering is bad and it might not matter; they have to find it unconstitutional and that's a trickier thing.

The way I understand the question it's about the 'equal protection' clause of the 14th amendment and whether 'equal protection' implies 'equal representation' and that implies that people need to have representatives of their own preferred party in State Legislature and Congress. If you register D party are you only properly treated by your government if there are D representatives in proportion to the number of D voters in your state? Traditionally the answer is No, you have a representative from your district and that's what you get whether you agree with them or not. Maybe the exception for racist gerrymanders confused the issue by enacting reparations for what was clearly a pattern of minority disempowerment. I think it's a tenuous line of reasoning and certainly not an 'originalist' interpretation of the Constitution.

If they decide against Wisconsin it could be a really big deal requiring the redrawing of districts in a dozen states. I'm feeling a little cynical in betting the won't do that. If they do, it might come with a provision that nobody needs to change their districts this late and can just wait until 2021.

All that aside I of course do think that making our elected representatives more accurately mirror the voting populace is a good idea and making our legislative bodies more proportional is a good idea; I just think we'll need changes to laws and constitutions to make it happen.