8 votes

Weekly US politics news and updates thread - week of January 3

This thread is posted weekly - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic, but almost all should be posted in here.

This is an inherently political thread; please try to avoid antagonistic arguments and bickering matches. Comment threads that devolve into unproductive arguments may be removed so that the overall topic is able to continue.

3 comments

  1. [2]
    dubteedub
    Link
    Schumer vows Senate rules change vote by Jan. 17 if GOP blocks voting rights

    Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Monday that he will force a vote by Jan. 17 on changing the Senate's rules if Republicans again block voting rights legislation.

    Republicans have used the 60-vote legislative filibuster to block voting rights and election reforms bills over the past year, arguing that they are a federal overreach. But Schumer, in a separate letter to the caucus last month, vowed to bring up voting legislation and force a debate on changing the filibuster.

    9 votes
    1. HotPants
      Link Parent
      Before we get too excited... Republicans Are Moving Rapidly to Cement Minority Rule

      Before we get too excited...

      Republicans Are Moving Rapidly to Cement Minority Rule

      Now the popular majority has elected to Congress and the White House a party that seeks to pass legislation protecting the right to vote, particularly among descendants of the enslaved, and the integrity of democratic elections. That democracy-promoting legislation is meant to counter the anti-democratic actions of Republican politicians, who, in 12 states, control one or both branches of the state legislature despite having won only a minority of the ballots cast or who hold power with disproportionately sized majorities far in excess of the ballots cast for them. Though the House has passed one iteration of this legislation, it seems likely that the Senate will kill any version of it — with a coalition of senators representing millions fewer citizens than the coalition that is backing the bill.

      Should the bill get enacted into law, it will have to face the Constitution’s final counter-majoritarian test, on the Supreme Court, where it could easily be struck down by five or six of the Court’s conservative justices. All those justices were put on the Court in accordance with constitutional procedures — which is perfectly consistent with the fact that three of those justices were appointed by a president elected with fewer votes than his opponent and five of those of those justices were approved by a group of senators representing fewer voters than the senators who voted against their confirmation.

      5 votes
  2. Kuromantis
    Link
    Is It Time to Rethink Hyper-Minority Districts? This is an article about how the Majority Minority districts that once gave Black people in the US their only political representation now often act...

    Is It Time to Rethink Hyper-Minority Districts?

    This is an article about how the Majority Minority districts that once gave Black people in the US their only political representation now often act as Democratic vote sinks that make Republican seats in the South safer and statewide delegations redder.

    Most members of Congress crave political security, and Terri Sewell has it. For more than a decade, she’s represented Alabama’s Seventh District, a 61 percent Black hodgepodge that awkwardly links the bustling cities of Birmingham and Montgomery via the sprawling, agriculturally rich Black Belt (named for the region’s dark topsoil), where more than a quarter of residents still live below the federal poverty line. The Seventh has never given her less than 72 percent of the vote.

    All over the Deep South—in states such as Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina—the story is familiar: Gerrymandered maps have packed Black voters into a lone Voting Rights Act district, while Republicans dominate every surrounding white-majority seat. In past decades, many of those VRA districts’ Democratic representatives were loath to unravel their own safe seats. But today, Democrats’ prevailing mentality has shifted. And as the 2022 redistricting wars heat up, multiple lawsuits aiming to unpack hyper-minority seats could help determine control of the House.

    Today, only 18 of the House’s 53 Congressional Black Caucus members hail from districts where Black residents exceed 50 percent of the voting-age population, including just eight of the 21 from the South. The median CBC member now represents a district that’s a hair shy of 40 percent Black. Yet Gingles and Bartlett continue to offer GOP mapmakers a convenient, if cynical, legal rationale to keep Democratic votes bottled up in remaining hyper-packed Black seats.

    “We’ve only got one of six seats in a state that’s a third Black,” notes Carter, a former state senator from New Orleans. “If Baton Rouge and Opelousas can be tied in for a second majority-minority district, I’m all in. This process isn’t about me. Sometimes you have to give up some of your own to help someone else.”

    3 votes