A Trifecta Kind of Day
Maybe good things come in threes
Bryan Zepp Jamieson
June 8th 2023
There were three news stories today that were a refreshing change from the unrelievedly grim news out of such diverse places as the Ukraine, the Canadian North, and Florida.
In ascending order of importance:
Pat Robertson is dead, age 93. This hateful televangelist has been a stain on American discourse for decades, and frankly, I’m glad he’s dead. He had his professed opinion on the nature of the afterlife, and I believe that when you die you simply wink out of existence and revert to the state of being you had for the 14 billion years before you were born. Ironically, he may be lucky if it turns out I was the one who was right.
The second most important story was the federal indictments that the justice department will unseal Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. This is the documents case, and there are reports that they include willful obstruction of justice and violations of the espionage act. The indictments will come from a Florida Grand Jury whose existence was a very well-kept secret until next week. This means the trial will be in Florida, negating Trump’s planned howls that he couldn’t get a fair trial in Washington or New York. The back up plan of course was to pretend the indictments were political and partisan. A Faux News “journalist” wanted to know if there was a REASON this was all happening “in the middle of a presidential election campaign.” I’m told that the respondee was unable to keep a straight face. Propaganda has to have at least a kernel of plausibility among the True Believers, and that one won’t even reach that low bar. To me, it reveals the vacuous desperation of the Republican party. I think Trump will be pretty much reduced to arguing he was innocent of breaking law because he was accused of abusing powers he didn’t actually have.
The most important story was the Supreme Court ruling on Allen v Milligan. By a 5-4 majority, the court ruled that the redistricting in Alabama was a clear violation of section two of the Voting Rights Act and was discriminatory based on race.
That the redistricting was discriminatory was pretty much indisputable on the face of it, and instead, what Alabama was asking the SC to do was simply junk the law the action violated. This was a step too far for John Roberts, who wrote, “The heart of these cases is not about the law as it exists. It is about Alabama’s attempt to remake our §2 jurisprudence anew. We find Alabama’s new approach to §2 compelling neither in theory nor in practice. We accordingly decline to recast our §2 case law as Alabama requests.” Brett Kavanaugh joined Roberts in crossing over to the Dark Side (“We have cookies!”).
Nobody thinks for an instant that these two puppets of the National Association of Zealots and Ideologues have had a change of heart and want to uphold Civil Rights in the US. They may have simply realized that the legitimacy of the Court, already in tatters, could collapse entirely with a second incendiary and highly unpopular ruling in the same year. At least they could hide behind stare decisis and explain to those holding their leashes that they had to pretend to uphold case law, at least for now. I don’t trust their motives, whatever they are. But they flat-out declared the redistricting done by the bigots of Alabama to be unconstitutional.
But the results in the short term are monumental. Alabama will have to redraw their districts well before the next election, and further, similar cases in Louisiana, Texas, and Georgia are now effectively decided. That means that four states with 73 electoral votes will have to hurriedly redistrict, and the resulting shifts should create about 20 black-majority districts that didn’t previously exist. While it may not affect the presidential race (all four states have a winner-takes-all for the president candidate with the most votes statewide) it will affect congressional races—up to 20 seats may change. Had these redistricting had been struck down in 2021, the Democrats would currently enjoy at least a 5 seat majority in the House.
And for now, at least, Section Two of the Voting Rights Act remains the law of the land. It’s an encouraging development at at time when the Supreme Court is normally in the vanguard of a fascist coup against the country.
Robertson dead. Trump indicted (some more, this time federal). The VRA still alive.
Yup. Good things come in threes.