While it’s been obvious for years that election law — the rules by which votes are counted, district lines are drawn and campaigns are paid for — represents a front in the culture wars, we don’t usually think of it that way. That’s because the term culture war signifies the politicization of competing belief systems — over abortion, for example, or religion or the appropriate social roles for men and women. (I use the word “belief” advisedly, recognizing that an anti-abortion position is purely opportunistic for a fair number of the Republican politicians who embrace it, including but not limited to President Trump.) The election-law wars, by contrast, aren’t about belief. They are about power: who has it, who gets to keep it. And as underscored by this week’s Supreme Court decision invalidating two North Carolina congressional districts as unconstitutional racial gerrymanders, the justices are as fully engaged in combat as anyone else.
There was something delicious about the warning in the dissenting opinion by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. about the danger that “the federal courts will be transformed into weapons of political warfare” if they remain open to deciding such cases. He said that by being too casually receptive to complaints like those brought by African-American voters in this case, courts “will invite the losers in the redistricting process to seek to obtain in court what they could not achieve in the political arena.”
Please. When did the Supreme Court acquire such diffidence about offering a forum for electoral struggle?
Full Article: Election Wars at the Supreme Court – The New York Times.