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Mon Jun 29, 2015, 10:46 AM

Justices rule 5-4 that independent panels can draw election district lines

Source: Washington Post

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Monday that independent commissions may draw electoral district lines.

The case arose after Arizona voters opposed to congressional gerrymandering had taken the power away from state legislators.

The Supreme Court has largely stayed out of partisan gerrymandering cases, unable to agree on a test that would allow the court to discern when expected political maneuvering rises to the level of being unconstitutional.

Arizona voters tried to take care of the problems themselves in 2000, when they turned over redistricting to an independent commission. But Republicans who control the legislature say the Constitution gives them the right draw congressional districts, and they cannot be cut out of the power.

[font size=1]-snip-[/font]


Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/justices-rule-5-4-that-independent-panels-can-draw-election-district-lines/2015/06/29/c91269aa-1ae6-11e5-ab92-c75ae6ab94b5_story.html



By Robert Barnes June 29 at 10:33 AM

52 replies, 6017 views

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Reply Justices rule 5-4 that independent panels can draw election district lines (Original post)
Eugene Jun 2015 OP
iandhr Jun 2015 #1
riversedge Jun 2015 #3
iandhr Jun 2015 #6
Kber Jun 2015 #7
JustAnotherGen Jun 2015 #11
randys1 Jun 2015 #27
Spitfire of ATJ Jun 2015 #24
iandhr Jun 2015 #9
Warpy Jun 2015 #41
rhett o rick Jun 2015 #50
Democat Jun 2015 #2
riversedge Jun 2015 #4
lobodons Jun 2015 #12
Robbins Jun 2015 #15
loudsue Jun 2015 #31
treestar Jun 2015 #43
Ham Sandwich Jun 2015 #52
RoccoR5955 Jun 2015 #32
treestar Jun 2015 #44
Dawgs Jun 2015 #35
RoccoR5955 Jun 2015 #45
djnicadress Jun 2015 #5
Kber Jun 2015 #8
longship Jun 2015 #14
Jim Lane Jun 2015 #20
calimary Jun 2015 #34
djnicadress Jun 2015 #48
druidity33 Jun 2015 #49
Cha Jun 2015 #10
ChazInAz Jun 2015 #21
dbackjon Jun 2015 #28
Fred Sanders Jun 2015 #13
1StrongBlackMan Jun 2015 #16
Fred Sanders Jun 2015 #17
question everything Jun 2015 #18
procon Jun 2015 #19
calimary Jun 2015 #38
Zorra Jun 2015 #22
dbackjon Jun 2015 #29
BumRushDaShow Jun 2015 #23
Fred Sanders Jun 2015 #25
BumRushDaShow Jun 2015 #39
Red Knight Jun 2015 #26
BumRushDaShow Jun 2015 #40
Fred Sanders Jun 2015 #46
BumRushDaShow Jun 2015 #47
Agnosticsherbet Jun 2015 #30
d_legendary1 Jun 2015 #33
Gothmog Jun 2015 #36
happyslug Jun 2015 #37
lark Jun 2015 #42
mucifer Jun 2015 #51

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 10:49 AM

1. This is a BFD

To use Joe Biden's words

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Response to iandhr (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 10:53 AM

3. yes, probably for some states--but seems that Red states

would not agree to these panels--just like WI has done. We are gerrymandered till 2020.

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Response to riversedge (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 11:02 AM

6. There are both Red and Blue states

With referendum processes. This decision gives the greenlight to try to create these independent commissions through a ballot referendum. The Arizona one was created by the voters

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Response to riversedge (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 11:04 AM

7. Its the "purple" states that matter in this case

And, of course, those that have a referendum mechanism, which may be most but not all (?).

For example, Texas (Yes Texas!) has a lot more democrats than you'd think by looking at state and federal representatives. Austin is actually broken up into multiple pie pieces so that the more liberal residents in any given neighborhood can be "balanced out" by more conservative areas outside the city.

It is not inconceivable that the voters in a state like Texas (or NJ, where I live) may someday get fed up with being continually underrepresented and vote in a fairer system. That's exactly what happened in supposedly rock solid red Arizona.

A more subtle change, maybe (hopefully) is that lawmakers might realize their seats aren't as secure as they thought and drift back towards the actual majority of their voters. Long shot, but this case at least leaves that door cracked, of only a tiny bit.

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Response to Kber (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 11:10 AM

11. Plus 1000000

Look how Lance's district (7th) was expanded to secure his seat.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #11)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 01:04 PM

27. BIIIIIIIIIIIG farking deal those bastages LOL

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Response to Kber (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 12:54 PM

24. Actually, this could flip a LOT of purple states to blue....

 

Texas in particular. Rove drew the districts so places like Austin (which is VERY blue) had some district borders extend miles and miles along a narrow strip out of town so that people in town would have to share a representative elected by Redneckistan.

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Response to riversedge (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 11:06 AM

9. But you are also right

We ate gerrymandered until 2020 in the states with out referendums

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Response to iandhr (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 03:08 PM

41. Yes it is, an admission that legislatures have a long history of corruption

It did stop short of ending gerrymandering, unfortunately, but that's not what the suit was about.

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Response to iandhr (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 08:55 PM

50. I'm not so sure. Sounds good but who decides who are on the "independent panels"?

 

It's really hard to beat corruption. This is a start. We need to follow thru and see that the panels are truly independent.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 10:52 AM

2. 5-4 Again

The next president is going to have a huge influence on the future of the court.

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Response to Democat (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 10:54 AM

4. If only we

to get that message out in a meaningful way.

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Response to Democat (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 11:11 AM

12. If GOP wins in 2016 could be seeing 7-2 decisions

 

If GOP wins in 2016 we could be seeing 6-3 and 7-2 Decisions written by Scalia and then Alito for the next 30 years.

If Hillary wins (Face it, its going to be Hillary) then Kagan and Sotomayor will be writing those Majority decisions for the next 30 years!!

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Response to lobodons (Reply #12)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 11:20 AM

15. No we don't have to face it

we should just let her help screw working people and unions and let people die in endless wars and let her stand back while social safety net is destroyed for corporations and endless war on chance on SC.Wrong

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Response to Robbins (Reply #15)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 01:07 PM

31. You got that right!

I don't get the Hillary love at all.

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Response to Robbins (Reply #15)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 03:36 PM

43. Yes we do

We can't have a Republican president.

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Response to treestar (Reply #43)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 09:39 PM

52. Bernie is a better choice, and is climbing upwards.

 

And he has no negatives, and the latest attacks have been laughable.

Hillary remains invisible from the media. Curious.

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Response to lobodons (Reply #12)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 01:07 PM

32. The race hasn't even started.

 

How can you say that Mrs. Clinton is going to be the winner? I find this quite offensive to those who support other Democratic Party candidates!
And it's just plain rude!

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Response to RoccoR5955 (Reply #32)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 03:37 PM

44. Others are allows to make

Predictions. It is not offensive to do that

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Response to lobodons (Reply #12)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 01:20 PM

35. "Face it, its going to be Hillary" is why Sanders supporters react they way they do.

 

Please stop it.

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Response to Dawgs (Reply #35)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 03:40 PM

45. Don't I know!

 

And if you say that you find it offensive, you get told that others have the right to make their own predictions, or others have the right to their opinions.
I say to that, people have the right to make their own predictions and opinions AFTER they have done the research, and are well versed on both sides of an argument. Not beforehand.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 10:59 AM

5. cnstitoutional amendments?

 

With this ruling does it mean that states can pass a law allowing the people to vote constitutional amendments? That can be a good and bad thing.

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Response to djnicadress (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 11:06 AM

8. Interesting question

Hadn't considered that angle. I have no idea, but I'd also love to hear what others think.

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Response to djnicadress (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 11:19 AM

14. No, the amendment process is outlined in the Constitution.

The Constitution leaves the districting process to the states. Not so the amendment process which is explicitly laid out in the Constitution.

One worry is that a Constitutional Convention can be convened by 2/3 of state legislatures. That would be very dangerous given the number of legislatures in GOP hands.

See Article V for details .


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Response to djnicadress (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 11:54 AM

20. Many states already have that. Today's ruling wouldn't affect that area.

 

I'm referring to the process of a referendum to approve an amendment to the state constitution.

If you mean an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, that process is set forth in Article V of the Constitution itself. State-by-state ratification is done by the state legislatures or by state ratifying conventions, as Congress directs. There's no provision for ratification by popular vote. Doing it that way would pretty clearly violate the Constitution, regardless of today's ruling.

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Response to djnicadress (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 01:19 PM

34. Welcome to DU, djnicadress!

Glad you're here! That is a good question. One thing is certain, underneath it all. Our opponents are of the mindset that - if they don't like the way something's set up, or settled law is established, they will go to the ENDS OF THE EARTH to find a way to get around it.

Shit - I remember that little girl in the bush/cheney justice department, monica goodling, SAYING THAT. When she had to testify in Congress about making baldly political appointments, vettings, and firings of state attorneys, which they were doing on steroids. She'd been recruited as a fresh new "law school" graduate from one of the religious schools - I forget if it was Liberty "University" or Regent "University", where rosy-cheeked, dewy-eyed young grads with their brand new law decrees were being stovepipes directly into that Justice Department. And she SAID they were looking for ways "to get around" whatever laws or regulations or restrictions were preventing them from packing the department with political paisans.

These folks are ALWAYS looking for a work-around. A reach-around. ANY way to manipulate, fuck with, or stretch completely outta shape, whatever the guidelines or laws or regulations or restrictions are - that prevent them from doing whatever the fuck they want, IN ORDER TO FURTHER THEIR AGENDA. They're ALWAYS looking for ways to sneak. Because, at its most basic, what they want or advocate is usually quite counter to the will of the majority, or the laws of the land, or the regulations or restrictions or limits that are put in place to curb greed or short-sightedness or prejudice of some sort. They're ALWAYS looking to tilt the playing field. Why? Because they know they can't win on a level playing field. They know they don't get their way when they have to follow - and strictly adhere to - the rules, laws, regulations, restrictions, limitations, or guidelines.

Please keep something very important in mind when observing that side of the aisle. Because it's a deep-down-in-the-bone-marrow fundamental about these adversaries of ours:
These are the original "NOBODY tells ME what to do!" people. This is WHO THEY ARE. Like Monica Lewinsky once put it, during some interview back in the day - recounting her memories of being two years old (repeat - TWO YEARS OLD) and sticking out her little dimpled chin and stamping her chubby little foot and yelling at her mom "NO ONE IS THE BOSS OF ME!"

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Response to djnicadress (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 06:30 PM

48. followup

 

I don't think some people are understanding what I am asking In this ruling it was saying legislature can also mean the people.

Article. V
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments,
which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article*; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate. article v also says 3/4 of when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States. Whats to stop a state from passing a law that any proposed amendments sent by congress shall be voted by the people.

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Response to djnicadress (Reply #48)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 07:54 PM

49. what you're asking makes no sense...

Never could anyone suppose that a State ballot initiative could alter the US Constitution in any way. States also have Constitutions and those can be amended as a result of "the will of the people" (ie, ballot initiative, voting, State Judicial system, etc). I don't see how Article V has any bearing on the current ruling.



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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 11:09 AM

10. "Of all the recent SCOTUS decisions, Arizona has the biggest potential to make America a functioning

democracy again."

Jon Favreau ‎@jonfavs

Of all the recent SCOTUS decisions, Arizona has the biggest potential to make America a functioning democracy again.

4:36 AM - 29 Jun 2015 68 68 Retweets
71 71 favorites

http://theobamadiary.com/2015/06/29/rise-and-shine-1059/


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Response to Cha (Reply #10)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 12:08 PM

21. I voted for that referendum.

Our astonishingly corrupt legislature has been frothing at the mouth ever since. We still have a way to go to straighten out the districts, here.

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Response to ChazInAz (Reply #21)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 01:06 PM

28. I voted for it as well

 

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 11:12 AM

13. This ONE HUGE victory makes the disappointment of the other two rulings today much much better.

Justice Kennedy again delivered the tie breaking vote.

Let a wave of non-legislature controlled, citizen-controlled, independent, scientific re-districting begin...I am actually shocked, in a good way, on this one.

Since the cons won the other two decisions today, how can the media let them get away with the "lawless, unelected judges in black robes" blabbering without being called out as the idiots they are?

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #13)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 11:22 AM

16. What other two rulings? n/t

 

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #16)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 11:26 AM

17. EPA regulation authority and death penalty drugs:

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #13)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 11:37 AM

18. My sentiments. You can't win them all but after last week - I'll take it (nt)

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 11:48 AM

19. Yes! This is a great victory for fair elections.

The plan is working in California, and now it can spread to other states. AS Democrats, we were looking at beyond 2020 after new census date would change some of these gerrymandered Republican strongholds, but now we can hope to see faster progress in states that allow public referendums.

Most Americans don't understand, or care, about the impact of gerrymandered districts on their communities and states, but everyone supports fairness, and that's what will unravel these laws.

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Response to procon (Reply #19)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 01:30 PM

38. There's also this: ADVANTAGE 2020 - that the Dems FINALLY woke up and decided to put together.

http://dlcc.org/news/dlcc-launches-advantage-2020-key-success-next-round-redistricting-70-million-plus-effort

They're FINALLY focusing on where the root of the problem is. You have to dig down as you would in a garden, and pull the weeds out by the roots. So what we need to do in this case is to MAKE SURE that we take back as many state legislatures and governors' mansions as possible by the year 2020. Work up to it in 2016 and 2018 but the target is 2020 - by which date, hopefully, our side will have notched some very beneficial victories.

The decade mark - the "Zero Year" - 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010, 2020, 2030, etc - THAT IS WHEN THE CENSUS IS TAKEN. Every ten years. And when the census is taken, what do they do with it? Besides all the studies of the changing demographics, the census determines Congressional representation. Where the population has moved. Where there are more people and where there's more representation needed. Where the populations in some districts are shrinking, and therefore Congressional representation will follow accordingly, and where the population is growing, necessitating changes in the Congressional districts to respond accordingly. Now, if partisans in the legislature want to make sure to put their collective thumb on the scale, every ten years, there is redistricting, to respond and adjust to what the census just determined about population changes. The bad guys, who always want to get around the rules and try to rig the game to slam dunk a victory for their side, will use this opportunity to redraw the districts to make sure the voting results from those districts will slant securely toward them.

So we have to fight this TWO WAYS. Take back the turf of those who will decide the redistricting, AND make sure that there are independent commissions on this - THAT ARE REALLY, TRULY, HONESTLY, and GENUINELY INDEPENDENT.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 12:12 PM

22. The RW extremist AZ legislature is totally corrupt, and they will

circumvent this ruling by enacting some form of corrupt legislation in order to retain their power to redistrict Arizona at will.

They are cabin boys for ALEC, and have no respect or regard for the democratic will of the people whatsoever.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #22)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 01:07 PM

29. Since it is citizen referendum

 

They have a huge hurdle to overcome.

They will try, but fail

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 12:38 PM

23. K&R

and some hope. And for here in PA, this is something that we need desperately due to stuff like this -



(yes, the red area IS a Congressional District - PA (7) drawn by teabaggers - runs through something like 6 counties).

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #23)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 01:01 PM

25. OMG...this one graphic illustrates too clearly the result and evil of re-districting by legislatures...dare the media show it?

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #25)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 02:41 PM

39. That was Sestak's district

before he decided to run for Senate in 2010 (and lost to Toomey). After the gerrymandering, it went back to GOP (Pat Meehan). And before that it was Curt Weldon's district for like 20 years. But obviously it wasn't drawn that way then...

The local paper even mentioned it in an editorial -

<...>

Then there's congressional redistricting. The Legislature redraws the boundaries of Pennsylvania's congressional districts every 10 years, after the census. Harrisburg Republicans unveiled their proposal for the new map on Tuesday and (gasp, with feigned surprise) ... it's designed to help Republicans! In fact, Rep. Patrick Meehan's 7th District is now one of the most gerrymandered districts in the nation, according to the redistricting experts at Azavea, a geospatialanalysis firm.

<...>

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/our-money/Just-go-home-Harrisburg.html


Also they remarked about this -

<...>

Why did the 7th take on such a funky shape? Azavea ran some numbers and found that, whereas the current 7th district is 52.8 percent Democratic voters and 47.2 percent Republican, the new 7th district is 48.2 percent Democratic and 51.8 percent Republican.

<...>

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/our-money/Getting-to-know-the-ridiculous-new-7th-congressional-district.html

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #23)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 01:04 PM

26. Yep. I live in Reading.

The city is overwhelmingly Democrat.

[image]?itok=h-QuarkK[/image]

But the city is carved up to limit that voting bloc.

Basically we are not represented in Congress.

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Response to Red Knight (Reply #26)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 02:49 PM

40. That was just insane.

Folks can see what they did to the eastern part of the state which has the largest population and is heavily Democratic, with pockets of GOP.



PA (6) and PA (17) are as bad. This is why you see the Congressional delegation that you see out of PA but then every Presidential election, we go for the Democrat while the stupid media keeps blabbering on about "swing state".

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #40)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 03:53 PM

46. The West looks fine. Anything near an urban area, with Democrats, and you can literally see the odious redrawing of boundaries.

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #46)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 04:20 PM

47. And Pittsburgh is in that "Allegheny County" district (PA 14 in Western PA)

And for that, as well as the 3 Districts in Philly, they did some de facto concentration of solid blue districts to minimize their number, but they made sure they diluted the blue smaller cities and the blue rim counties around those cities to give themselves the advantage.

In 2010, there were just over 1,000,000 more registered Democrats in PA then Republicans but you wouldn't know if with 13 GOP and 5 Dem members in the PA U.S. House delegation.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 01:07 PM

30. This is what brought California back from Republican domination. Republicans liked it until

the realized they could not control the process.

This has been a really good time for liberals.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 01:13 PM

33. This is both good and bad

Good since it means that the lines can be drawn fairly. Bad since if that independent group happens to be Diebold then it'll be more of the same.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 01:25 PM

36. This is a great ruling

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 03:26 PM

42. This one shocks me more than all the others

This is actually standing up to big business and big politics, something Kennedy doesn't ususally do. He's usually right with the other traitors when $$ or politics is involved, but for once the general electorate won.

Whoohoo for the sanity spike at SCOTUS of last week.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 09:31 PM

51. My adlermanic ward map here in Chicago:



It's disgusting. I got gerrymandered out of a liberal ward.

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