Thursday, June 30, 2016


I omitted a decision by SCOTUS that unanimously upheld Arkansas In dependent  Redistrict Commission’s plan which the  protagonists had complained that the redrawn  favored Republicans  and tended to include mass Democrat populations in other districts.

Justice Breyer explained that the Constitution requires states to try to distribute residents evenly among legislative districts, but it “does not demand mathematical perfection.” In particular, states can draw districts with populations that aren’t perfectly equal if there is a good reason to do so – for example, to draw districts that are compact or to ensure that a city or county is not split up.

And the fact that districts aren’t perfectly equal, standing alone, does not mean that a redistricting map violates the Constitution, Breyer explained, if the largest deviation from perfect equality is less than ten percent.

In effect in this decision and one on Texas’s redistricting the Court upheld gerrymandering.
Gun control remained a subject that Congress wished to only pay lip service. By failing to pass three Republican and three Democrat sponsored bills no action was taken until the Senate came up with a bipartisan compromise bill

The Senate voted on Thursday to keep a proposal to block gun sales to terrorism suspects alive, but placed it in a procedural limbo that made its adoption unlikely anytime soon.

"The compromise measure, drafted by Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, had emerged as the one piece of legislation since the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., with a chance of winning bipartisan support and passage in Congress.

The measure, which had been in danger of failing because of Republican opposition, would block gun sales to anyone on the government’s no-fly list or the so-called “selectee” list of people subjected to heightened screening before they are allowed to board a plane.

Republican leaders, however, had expressed deep misgivings about the bill because they said it would deny due process to individuals who might have ended up on the lists without just cause.

That left them in a quandary of how to stall the measure without allowing Democrats to gloat that Republicans were so opposed to tighter gun restrictions that they defeated even a bill offered by a member of their own party.
The solution was a procedural maneuver by which the majority leader, Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, scheduled the bill for a vote on a motion to table it. By voting not to table it, Republicans could keep it alive without advancing or defeating it outright — putting it in a sort of legislative purgatory".

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