Among the many positive changes within the federal government since the end of the Obama Administration…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
FCC Should Preempt Individual State Attempts to Regulate the Internet

Among the many positive changes within the federal government since the end of the Obama Administration and the arrival of the Trump Administration, perhaps none surpass those brought by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under new Chairman Ajit Pai.

And the most welcome and beneficial change undertaken by the new FCC is its action to rescind Obama FCC decisions to begin regulating the internet as a "public utility" under statutes passed in the 1930s for old-fashioned, copper-wire telephone service.  The Obama FCC's action instantly began to stifle new broadband investment, and was subject to legal reversal.  The internet thrived for two decades under both the Clinton and Bush administrations precisely due to the federal government's "light touch" regulatory policy, and there…[more]

November 16, 2017 • 11:27 am

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Justices Should Toss Dems' Phony Election Lawsuit Print
By Betsy McCaughey
Wednesday, September 13 2017
As for gerrymandering, it's been around for over 200 years, and Democrats are among its most experienced practitioners.

If you can't win, change the rules. Democrats and progressive activists are joining forces to urge the U.S. Supreme Court to interfere in how election districts are drawn in all 50 states. In Gill v. Whitford, they're challenging how Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin drew the state's election map.

The justices will hear the case on Oct. 3. If they decide to strike down Wisconsin's map and dictate new rules for election map making, it could turn winners into losers and vice versa across the country. Republicans, who have been on a winning streak and now control both legislative houses and the governor's mansions in 26 statesincluding Wisconsinrightly oppose this judicial interference.

Democrats claim Wisconsin's election map is unfair because Democratic voters are getting "packed" into too few election districts, "wasting" their votes and allowing Republicans to win the majority of districts.

The real problem is these Wisconsin Democrats are concentrated in cities. Democrats win big in cities, but lose suburban and rural districts. So Democrats want the Supreme Court to help them win more state seats by requiring that electoral maps spread their votes across more districts.

It's a brazen political gambit disguised as high-mindedness. They claim to be victims of "gerrymandering" —  drawing election districts to favor one party. But they're not really opposed to gerrymandering. They just want it to favor them.

Democrats hope a Supreme Court victory will restore their political fortunes after the 2020 Census, when states have to redraw their electoral maps.

As for gerrymandering, it's been around for over 200 years, and Democrats are among its most experienced practitioners.

When James Madison ran for Congress in 1788, rival politicians including his mortal enemy Patrick Henry drew district lines to try to exclude his supporters. Madison won anyway, but manipulating voting districts for partisan advantage was just getting started. Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and Constitutional Convention delegate, raised it to an art form in 1812, carving an election district in his state that meandered around Boston like a salamander. A Boston newspaper duplicated it, added claws, fangs and a tail, and called it a Gerry-mander.

That political monster has been with us ever since. It's one of the tools pols in both parties usealong with arcane ballot access rules and the perks of incumbencyto rig elections and exclude competition. At its worst, it deprives voters of any meaningful system of self-government. But this corruption should be cleaned up by the votersnot the federal courts.

Voters in 13 states have already set up independent or bipartisan commissions to draw state legislative district lines after each census. Those states tackled the issue themselves the democratic way, with a small "d."

Are these commissions perfect? Hardly. Elections in these states are not always more competitive, because politicians  being who they are  manage to weasel their way in and influence the outcome. In 2014, New York State voters approved a flimsy constitutional amendment establishing a commission to oversee future redistricting, but it doesn't go far enough, because the legislature can reject whatever map the commission proposes.

A better remedy for corrupt districting is a totally nonpartisan system like Iowa's, which draws district lines without considering party affiliation. The irony is that, in most states, even good government groups want some favoritism in district maps  maximizing the voice of religious groups or new immigrant neighborhoods. If partisan favoritism is wrong, so is this.

In the past, the Supreme Court has refused to meddle in partisan gerrymandering cases. As Justice Antonin Scalia explained in a 2004 case, "political gerrymandering claims are nonjusticiable"  beyond what courts should handle. That's how the justices should rule again in the Wisconsin case. If Democrats want to return to power, they'll need to broaden their appeal and win over more of America's suburban and rural voters.


Betsy McCaughey is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and a former lieutenant governor of New York State.
COPYRIGHT 2017 CREATORS.COM

Question of the Week   
Thanksgiving was established as an annual event by presidential proclamation in which of the following years?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
Thanksgiving has always been a special holiday, an opportunity for family reunions, bountiful feasts, marathon football games and the traditional kickoff of the Holiday Season. We travel home by car, train, plane and bus to come together with loved ones. As Americans gather with friends and family this week, let us not forget those brave men and women who put themselves in harms' way to protect our…[more]
 
 
—The Center for Individual Freedom
— The Center for Individual Freedom
 
Liberty Poll   

For Thanksgiving Dinner, how many recipes used by your family have been passed down through at least two generations?