The supreme court made a ruling on Thursday that federal courts will not get involved in disputes over politicians drawing district lines for partisan gain. “This decision really didn’t come as a surprise. For decades now, the supreme has said that drawing district lines is an inherently political process,” said Dr. Joe Morris.
Dr. Joe Morris, a political scientist from Mercyhurst University, says this supreme court decision puts more responsibility back into the hands of voters. “In the long run, I think if we step back, we can say well maybe this is a real good thing for democracy,” said Dr. Morris. “The court is saying to citizens, if you want better district lines, do a better job of electing your representatives at the state level.”
On the other hand, a volunteer from Fair Districts PA says this decision allows for lawmakers to manipulate district lines without any consequences.
Fair districts PA is a nonpartisan, citizen-led, statewide coalition working to create a process for redistricting that is transparent, impartial, and fair. “I would say that’s unfortunate because they could make it the law of the land that things have to be done in a fair way,” said Lorraine Morse-Dolan, volunteer, Fair Districts PA. “And what’s happened in Pennsylvania where if things couldn’t be decided at the state level among the state legislatures and the governor. It went to the supreme court of Pennsylvania. “
Dolan says at this point it is important for citizens to call their state lawmakers and research what they are doing when it comes to gerrymandering.