There are exactly two ways to approach Gil v. Whitford, the gerrymandering case currently before the Supreme Court. One, you can look at the merits of the case and decide whether or not the extreme partisan gerrymandering Republicans have engaged in has, in fact, stripped people of their vote (to which the only real conclusion is "Yes, yes it has"). Or, two, you can do what Chief Justice John Roberts is doing and simply lie about the evidence to come to the conclusion you already want which, in Robert's case, is to keep allowing Republicans to steal elections with gerrymandering.
We saw this dishonesty in action when Roberts rejected as "sociological gobbledygook" the science that shows in concrete terms how gerrymandering literally steals people's votes by making it impossible for one party to lose even in wave elections. In other words, Republicans have rigged state and congressional House elections so badly that even when Democrats when well over 50% of the vote in a given state, Republicans still end up with well over 50% of the seats. By any definition, that is not a free and fair election.
Unless, of course, you're a Republican Supreme Court justice. Then it's "gobbledygook."
This insult to the entire field of sociology did not sit well with the president of the American Sociological Association, Professor Eduardo Bonilla-Silva. In an unusually scathing open letter to Roberts, Prof. Bonilla-Silva not only schools the justice on the hard science behind sociology, but goes on to list several well known applications of the so-called "gobbledygook" that changed the course of America history and our everyday lives. From designing some of the earlier algorithms used to detect credit card fraud to helping to identify terrorist cells, sociology is anything but the kind of woo science Roberts needs it to be in order to ignore the evidence in front of him.
But the harshest blow comes from the conclusion of the open letter:
We are certain that the social scientists and legal scholars at your alma mater would be disappointed to learn that you attributed your lack of understanding of social science to your Harvard education. Should you be interested in enhancing your education in this area, we would be glad to put together a group of nationally and internationally renowned sociologists to meet with you and your staff. Given the important ways in which sociological data can and have informed thoughtful decision-making from the bench, such time would be well spent.
Damn. That is one well deserved slap across the face. Roberts was being a prick and everyone knew it. Kudos for Bonilla-Silva for stepping up and putting him back in his place.
Of course, Roberts may end up with the last laugh. Or not. It all depends on whether of not Justice Kennedy recognizes the role partisan gerrymandering has played in handing the country over to Trump and his white nationalist mob instead of the billionaires like he was hoping for when he ruled in favor of unlimited money in elections. If he does, Republicans will take a massive beating in the next several election cycles but they'll also lose all of the rabid extremists dragging them down. If doesn't, he'll consign the GOP to a future of incoherent racism that will result in widespread bloodshed. Not much of a legacy for the sake of power.
In the meantime, Roberts has secured his legacy as a partisan hack that will be remembered as one of the most ideologically dishonest Chief Justices to ever sully the honor of Court. He deserved every bit of the burn he got from Prof. Bonilla-Silva and let's hope Kennedy ends up throwing that "gobbledygook" right back in his face for the good of the country. It's one of the only slim hopes we have left.
There are 24 days left to the the 2017 elections.
There are 388 days left to the 2018 elections.
Just because it's rigged doesn't mean it's foolproof. Vote Blue.
- This article kills fascists
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