Quick Update To Our Story “Will Young People Really Vote?“
While we did not have the prescience to predict Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ huge upset win in the New York primary, we discussed how younger voters we’ve met and talked with could care less about party and one-size-fits-all platforms and are looking for personalities and proposals related to very specific issues.
Ocasio-Cortez delivered on both those things, and how! We also believe she did an important thing for the party as a whole, beyond re-energizing it: she gave Democrats an agenda, which is great. Because so far, they’d been running only on “vote against Trump”. Which they’d already tried. Didn’t work.
So this weekend the question literally became “will she play in Peoria?”. And the candidate herself came up with the most simple and sensible answer to that: she doesn’t have to:
Meanwhile, Democrats everywhere can start thinking about slightly bolder policy statements without being so scared they might offend some of their constituents.
Quick Update To Our Story “So What Are The Chances Of Passing A New Assault Weapons Ban In Congress?“
This follows the murder of 5 newsroom employees at the Capital Gazzette in Annapolis, Maryland late last week. In this case, the shooter, who was angry about coverage of a harassment case against him in the newspaper, used a type of shotgun that was different than in most other recent mass shootings, and would not likely fall under any category of weapon that might be considered for a ban. The response however, was more of the same. Here’s President Trump:
While that sounds very nice, Trump was not specific about what he means by “everything”. So far, next to nothing has changed. After Las Vegas, after Texas, after Parkland, and so many others. Even things the N.R.A. said it could live with, like banning “bump stocks”, which turn semi-automatic weapons fully-automatic haven’t been done. Nor have improved background checks, or mandatory gun safety training. Gun advocates will argue none of this would’ve mattered in the Maryland killings. At the same time, the relentlessness and scale at which these tragedies continue to occur in the U.S. would seem to call for some new approaches. Trump is always so worried about people in other countries “laughing at us.” Well, they are about this: because there seems to be one obvious thing to at least try staring U.S. policy makers in the face, and they’re not even seriously considering it.
Another Quick Update To Our Story “Why Are Republicans Having So Much Trouble Passing An Immigration Bill?”
Except no, you did exactly that just 3 days before, AND IN ALL CAPS!:
So the fact that nearly half of all Republicans in the House voted against it should be a major embarrassment to you. And also perhaps an indication of bad policy. And even if you believe it’s good policy given time, an awful lot of your allies seem to see it as an unnecessary impediment to holding on to their seats this fall.
Quick Update To Our Story “Supreme Court’s Double Whammy“
We asked for, and received, quite a lot of feedback on this piece. One of our readers in particular laid out why the Texas gerrymander decision should be viewed as kind of a stand-alone, since it was such an odd case to begin with. Here’s what he had to say:
“I’m struggling to see the justification for this statement and the sentiment that the Court issued a handbook for getting around the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution. Racial gerrymandering is still very much against the law, and the idea that a state could simply follow the precedent established by the fact pattern and ruling of this case and in so doing “do whatever the hell [it] wants” seems far fetched under a fair reading of the Court’s opinion.
Two reasons support this belief in my mind.
First, the situation that Texas found itself in was incredibly unique and out of the ordinary. This is due in large part to the fact that its process of quickly redistricting overlapped with the Shelby decision that, as your article points out, greatly altered the circumstances under which the state could adjust its election laws. This of course lead to the bizarre situation in which, and I am largely oversimplifying, the state almost entirely adopted court ordered plans only to have them shot down by the very court that ordered them and then these plans were largely restored in accordance with this recent Supreme Court opinion. If this is a playbook for state legislators, its hardly filled with easily accessible calls to make.
Second, the Supreme Court went out of its way to strike down one of the state’s redistricting plans. This plan related to House District 90, and the plan was struck down by the Court because it was a racial gerrymander. The Court did not just throw deference at Texas, which defended the way that it carved up the district. On the contrary, on the grounds that the state did not overcome the burden placed on it to narrowly tailor its districting decisions, the way that HD90 was drawn up was deemed illegal.”
We have no quarrel with that assessment.
At the same time, our point had mostly to do with the language Justice Alito used in his opinion; not so much the decision itself. If applied more broadly by persons of ill-intent, we feel the following concepts may have instructional value as to how to wriggle around without running afoul of the law:
- “Because a voter’s race sometimes correlates closely with political party preference…it may be very difficult for a court to determine whether a districting decision was based on race or party preference”
- Presuming good faith by legislators in what seems like all cases.
- Putting the burden on plaintiffs to prove ill-intent (vs. simply proving a discriminatory impact), may have instructional value as to how to wriggle around without running afoul of the law.
- The reason that may be so important is with John McCain out, and Alabama recently flipped to Democrat Doug Jones, 1 Republican vote could be enough to block a Trump nominee. (Keep in mind however, that 3 Democrats, and Collins, voted to confirm Justice Neil Gorsuch.)
- The reason that may not be important at all is that no one Trump nominates is going to say during their hearing whether they support Roe v. Wade. They’ll be asked for sure, and they’ll all answer with a version of: “I would not presume to judge a case right now that I might one day actually have to judge.” Now, Collins did refer to looking at whether a particular nominee believed in precedent of court rulings that over the years had been reaffirmed many times, and Roe certainly fits that bill. So we’ll see.
But as we’ve said before, we think with this new court full of Conservative activists, it’s as good as finished.