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Justice Kagan pens blistering dissent after Supreme Court approves ‘election rigging’ in gerrymandering case

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that they can’t decide one way or the other about partisan gerrymandering because the issue comes from state legislators elected by the people. But it was Justice Elena Kagan who issued a fiery dissent calling gerrymandering outright “election rigging.”

“’Governments,’ the Declaration of Independence states, ‘deriv[e] their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.’ The Constitution begins: ‘We the People of the United States.’ The Gettysburg Address (almost) ends: ‘[G]overnment of the people, by the people, for the people.’ If there is a single idea that made our Nation (and that our Nation commended to the world), it is this one: The people are sovereign. The ‘power,’ James Madison wrote, ‘is in the people over the Government, and not in the Government over the people.’ Free and fair and periodic elections are the key to that vision,” Kagan wrote. “The people get to choose their representatives. And then they get to decide, at regular intervals, whether to keep them.”

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She went on to say that partisan gerrymandering is anti-democratic “in the most profound sense.”

“The politicians who benefit from partisan gerrymandering are unlikely to change partisan gerrymandering. And because those politicians maintain themselves in office through partisan gerrymandering, the chances for legislative reform are slight. No worries, the majority says; it has another idea. The majority notes that voters themselves have recently approved ballot initiatives to put power over districting in the hands of independent commissions or other nonpartisan actors. …. But put that aside. Fewer than half the States offer voters an opportunity to put initiatives to direct vote; in all the rest (including North Carolina and Maryland)…”

She noted that there is a way to do it to take into account the will of the people. She cited Missouri where citizens weigh in on the congressional maps.

“Of all times to abandon the Court’s duty to declare the law, this was not the one. The practices challenged in these cases imperil our system of government. Part of the Court’s role in that system is to defend its foundations. None is more important than free and fair elections. With respect but deep sadness, I dissent,” she closed.

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Read the full dissent here.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump officials furious with NRA over ‘dick move’ leak of LaPierre phone call: report

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President Donald Trump originally appeared interested in strengthening federal background check laws in the wake of deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Then, after a phone conversation with National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre on Tuesday, Trump reportedly assured him that background checks were "off the table" and pivoted to discussing anything but guns.

It was a depressingly familiar moment for Trump, who also previously headfaked toward some minor gun control reforms after the Parkland school shooting and quickly walked them back.

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Former Dem Senator hilariously nails perfect impression of ‘pouting’ Trump at G7 because nobody ‘likes him’ there

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During the "Overtime" segment of HBO's Real Time, former North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) made fun of Donald Trump before he arrived at the G7 summit in France,m saying he will pout his way through the weekend because the other world leaders loathe him.

With host Bill Maher asking how the Trump will conduct himself, Heitkamp immediately went into a very recognizable arms-crossed pout, which caused the audience to burst into laughter.

After the two posed as Trump and Geerman leader Angela Merkel from the last get together, Heitkamp had a few things to say about the president.

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Trump’s new press secretary isn’t holding briefings because she fears suffering Sarah Sanders’ ‘fate’: report

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The White House has a new press secretary, but even if you’re a pretty close follower of political news, you may have missed her.

Stephanie Grisham, who had previously been serving just as First Lady Melania Trump’s communications director, took over for Sarah Sanders as press secretary for President Donald Trump at the beginning of July. She has retained her previous position working for the first lady, and she’s also functioning White House communications director.

One way she has been able to juggle all these duties is that she has declined to hold a single on-camera press briefing since taking over for Sanders. Sanders had once held briefings with some regularity but by the end of tenure, she had gone months without taking questions from reporters in the White House press room. CNN reported Friday that it has been 165 days since a formal on-camera White House briefing.  The State Department and the Pentagon, too, have drastically cut back on their press availabilities.

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