Justices Antonin Scalia, John Roberts (Credit: AP/Dave Tulis/Larry Downing/Photo montage by Salon)

How the Justices Could Help GOP Rig the Game

Justices Antonin Scalia, John Roberts (Credit: AP/Dave Tulis/Larry Downing/Photo montage by Salon)

(Salon) – This week, the Supreme Court opted to hear arguments in Evenwel v. Abbott, a case out of Texas that challenges the ways in which states draw their legislative districts. The longstanding status quo has been that when state governments set the boundaries for legislative districts, they use census estimates of total populations to determine where the boundaries should be drawn so that each district contains roughly the same number of people. The plaintiffs in Evenwel, and the conservative activist group representing them, argue that the districts should be drawn based on the number of eligible voters, not the total population. It’s a challenge to the existing notion of “one person, one vote,” and up until now, the high court has been unwilling to consider cases that seek to redefine that principle.

This case is yet another testament to the conservative movement’s boundless creativity when it comes to exploiting the courts to achieve policy outcomes. Conservative activists know that if they can wrap their policy agenda in a legal argument that at least sounds plausible, they have a pretty good chance of getting a favorable decision from the Supreme Court’s conservative bloc.


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