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This just in… Democrats’ Congressional remap upheld - Opinion Posted - GOP Responds

Thursday, Dec 15, 2011

* 2:41 pm - Three top sources confirmed moments ago that the Republican challenge to the new congressional map was struck down by a three-judge federal panel today. Stay tuned for more info as it becomes available.

* Click the pick for a larger version, but this is the e-mail that was sent out by the federal court…

* 3:13 pm - No comment yet from the GOP plaintiffs’ spokesperson. Still working on getting a copy of the opinion. Stay tuned a few more minutes.

* Meanwhile, in Chicago

In a sign of the continuing divisions among Chicago aldermen on how to draw new ward boundaries, a group of 16 including the entire Latino Caucus today filed its preferred map with the city clerk.

Latino, black and white aldermen have been negotiating without success for two weeks to reach agreement on a new map for the 50 wards that could win a 41-vote majority of the City Council and avoid the uncertainty of presenting competing proposals to voters in the March primary election.

*** 3:22 pm *** To read the opinion and order, click here.

* All emphasis added, but this is from the opinion

As to the partisan gerrymander claims, although we agree with the Committee that the crafting of the Adopted Map was a blatant political move to increase the number of Democratic congressional seats, ultimately we conclude that the Committee failed to present a workable standard by which to evaluate such claims, therefore they fail under Vieth v. Jubelirer, 541 U.S. 267 (2004).

The Committee’s vote dilution claims fail because the Committee has not proven by a preponderance of the evidence that the state legislature intentionally discriminated against Latinos in passing the Adopted Map. Again, we acknowledge that Latino ethnicity was a factor in creating District 4 in 1991, but times have changed: the weight of the evidence shows that the predominant intent of the 2011 Illinois legislature in maintaining Adopted District 4 in substantially the same shape as when it was created in 1991 was a desire to enhance Democratic seats in the state as a whole, to keep Democratic incumbents in Districts 3, 4, and 5 with their constituents, to preserve existing district boundaries, and to maintain communities of interest. Because race was not the predominant factor, the Committee failed to meet its burden of proof on its racial gerrymander claims under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act or the Constitution. […]

…our conclusion that the Committee hasn’t shown intentional discrimination against Latinos dooms all three vote dilution counts. […]

The Committee has not proved the first Gingles precondition that the Latino minority group is large enough and geographically compact enough to be a majority in more single-member districts than the redistricting plan created. The Committee’s Map does not create two majority-minority Latino districts. District 4 under the Committee’s Map has 59.4 percent Latino voting-age population and District 3 has only 46.5 percent. […]

But, given the rule of thumb, and the need to account for Latinos within the voting-age population who are not citizens eligible to vote, we do not infer that 65.9 percent voting-age population of Latinos in Adopted District 4 suggests excessive packing… The addition of low Latino voting-age population areas to District 4 and exclusion of certain high voting-age population areas suggests that the state’s intent was not maximization of Latino voting-age population. […]

Further, as the Committee itself argues, the Adopted Map was drawn for predominantly political reasons, and we believe this is evident in Adopted Districts 3, 4 and 5. Maintaining substantially the same boundaries of District 4 allows Congressman Gutierrez to remain in a district with 82.3 percent of his current constituents. This in turn allowed the Democrats to draw Districts 3 and 5 with substantially the same boundaries, resulting in Congressman Lipinski’s remaining in a district with 76.4 percent of his constituents and Congressman Quigley in a district with 78.9 percent of his constituents. […]

The issue is whether District 4 was drawn to intentionally discriminate against Latinos. If the Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly crafted Adopted District 4 for reasons other than discriminatory intent, whether those reasons are legitimate state interests or not, the Committee cannot succeed. […]

The Committee contends that the Democrats want to keep Latinos out of District 3 to preserve Congressman Lipinski’s primary win because he has recently lost favor among Latinos on account of his stance on immigration. The state cannot draw district lines to exclude minorities merely because they might oppose an incumbent… Given that the Latino voting-age population in Cook County has nearly doubled since 1990 and is projected to continue increasing steadily, a 4.7 percent reduction in Latino voting-age population in Adopted District 3 doesn’t notably reduce the opportunity for a Latino candidate of choice to successfully run against Congressman Lipinski in the Democratic primary over the next decade. Additionally, the Committee presented little evidence, and certainly nothing convincing, that Latino voters in District 3 disfavor Congressman Lipinski. For example, the Committee did not offer Congressman Lipinski’s voting record on issues important to Latinos, or present examples of Latino organizations opposing his reelection.

Further, the Committee does not dispute Dr. Lichtman’s findings that in the 2010 primary election Congressman Lipinski received 57 percent of the Latino vote when running against a Latino candidate. […]

Neither do other relevant factors point to intentional discrimination against Latinos. Evidence that the redistricting process was “secretive” and excluded Republicans reveals partisan motivation, not racial discrimination. […]

Because the Board of Elections asserts that politics was the predominant factor in crafting Adopted District 4, it has made no attempt to justify the oddly shaped district under strict scrutiny.20 Despite the history of District 4, we agree with the Board of Elections that the predominant intent in maintaining the district in the Adopted Map was not race, but a desire to keep Democratic incumbents in Districts 3, 4, and 5 with their constituents, to preserve existing district boundaries, and to maintain communities of interest. […]

Preserving the core of prior districts and keeping incumbents with their constituents are legitimate redistricting objectives.

Keep in mind that two Republican justices from Indiana were on that three-judge panel.

*** 4:26 pm *** From a press release…

Statement of Illinois GOP Members of Congress Regarding Federal Ruling on Congressional Redistricting Case

“We are disappointed with the court’s ruling today, especially considering the very serious issues we raised in our challenge to the Democrats’ map, including discrimination against the state’s growing Latino population. We are in the process of reviewing the decision and evaluating our options for future action.

“Regardless of today’s decision, we continue to believe that fairness should be the driving principle in the redistricting process. A balanced congressional map is necessary to ensure that the people of Illinois have an opportunity to express their will at the ballot box and elect those representatives who best reflect their shared interests. Unfortunately, the Democrats who control state government decided instead to maximize their partisan advantage in the map-making process to serve their own interests. That kind of selfish approach to governing should never be tolerated.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


39 Comments
  1. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 2:45 pm:

    OMG GOPies get second smack down and rumor to have spent $2 million!
    Fire, Aim, Ready


  2. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 2:49 pm:

    Case closed indeed.


  3. - Rahm's Parking Meter - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 2:54 pm:

    Let the races begin!


  4. - Dirt Digger - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 2:56 pm:

    Circular, relative to the cost of defending their members in one of the only D-friendly redraws in the country $2M is marginal. It is probably worth it for them to appeal all the way to the Supreme Court just in case.


  5. - Tom B. - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 3:09 pm:

    Boom Goes the Kasper


  6. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 3:13 pm:

    That Kasper has won more cases this year than Perry Mason ever did. lol


  7. - Compacting my head - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 3:23 pm:

    Well, this one could be seen from a mile away. Luckily, Ty Fahner took the case on a contingency basis.

    And yes, I kid.


  8. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 3:37 pm:

    Dirt
    We believe they should appeal all the way to the World Court in the Hague. More money fumbled away on fancy pants lawyers is less to pour into campaigns.


  9. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 3:38 pm:

    “Kasper has won more cases this year than Perry Mason ever did.”

    True, but not every lawyer has the added advantage of helping to craft the legislation that he will later rely upon when litigating cases in court. Kasper’s close working relationship with the Speaker means he seldom starts a case from scratch.


  10. - Shock & Awww(e) - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 3:41 pm:

    Agggghhhhhhh!

    I originally drafted a post asking if anyone knew of similarities/differences between the TX remap case SCOTUS recently agreed to hear & our map, “since I assume both maps are fairly funky shaped.”

    Deciding not to be lazy, I found and read a WaPo story instead (da*n you, initiative).

    Turns out the crux of the TX Dem. argument is that the TX map doesn’t create enough majority-minority districts. It significantly resembles what the GOP case was arguing up here.

    Not to oversimplify, but: “Agggggghhhhhhhhh!” (cue the McCauley Culkin scene from Home Alone).

    I like to think politics haven’t completely polluted our justice system, and intend to delve deeper on the TX case out of personal curiosity… on the surface, however, the inconsistency of this drives me nuts.

    Then again, I’m glad this stuff is done and over with. Who knows where Joe Walsh might wind up next if this drags on any longer? (snark)


  11. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 3:42 pm:

    Well … Thank goodness we have Gov. Bill Brady to stop all this liti …liti … oh, the reason we have the litigation is that the GOP lost both chambers AND lost the governor’s mansion?

    Yeah “Moderate” GOP!

    You guys won … you showed EVERYONE that when we have two factions working against each other, bad things happen! That Bill Brady would have been so awful … not as awful as losing 3 maps … but so awful!

    We all learned a lesson, by golly, and tens years from now, after Pat Quinn is out, and after Lisa is finshing her second term, and her last duty as governor is to sign the democratic map for 2022, we will be ready to heed that Moderate GOP lesson you taught us all… in the 2032 Map … Yes!

    Thanks! … Dopes!


  12. - reformer - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 3:51 pm:

    Now the depths of the IL GOP failure last fall will sink in. It’s now clear that barring a collapse of the Obama campaign, Democrats will win back congressional and legislative seats lost last year. The new maps seal the IL GOP fate as the minority party through 2022.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 3:52 pm:

    Can anyone find this out … did the GOP use the “Strenuously object” objection, like in A Few Good Men;

    “Objection”

    “Overruled”

    “No, we strenulously object …”

    At this point, it might have been worth a shot. Didn’t work for Lt. Commander Galloway … but …


  14. - Shock & Awww(e) - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 3:54 pm:

    Perhaps I should rephrase… I like to think that the judicial system still places a premium on ensuring fairness in government - which includes accurate, equitable redistricting that represents all parties (including minorities).

    Instead, this opinion seems to leave it at, “Do what you will”.

    While I question the sincerity and motives of the “Committee” in making their argument, it just seems plain odd to me that Justices up here basically chalk it all up to the game while SCOTUS intervenes to (possibly) protect that fairness in the TX case.

    It seems contradictory, and the lack of consistency is frustrating. Oh, well, back to watching some “Home Alone”.

    And sorry for venting, no more soap box time.


  15. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 3:56 pm:

    Good payday for the lawyers.

    $2 million more in Brady money for a ground game in Cook County, or…

    $2 million for GOP lawyers on a lost cause fighting a legal map.

    Not my dime.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 3:58 pm:

    wordslinger …

    ===$2 million more in Brady money for a ground game in Cook County, or…===

    A! … M E N !!!!!!


  17. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 3:59 pm:

    ===TX Dem. argument is that the TX map doesn’t create enough majority-minority districts. It significantly resembles what the GOP case was arguing up here.===

    Except here, the justices ruled that the Dems did create enough.


  18. - Raising Kane - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 4:04 pm:

    Willy…what on earth are you talking about? Show me any evidence at all that moderate GOP voters didn’t vote for Bill. I am a moderate, and I voted for him as did all of my moderate friends. Bill lost with indy’s, mostly indy suburban women. I usually find you amusing as hell but on this one, I gotta say “get a grip, dude”


  19. - Dirt Digger - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 4:11 pm:

    Also, there is no shortage of contiguous Hispanic communities in the alternative Texas maps. There was a borderline case in IL and the GOP didn’t bother to actually draw a second majority-Hispanic district, in addition to several other shortcomings. Not so in TX.


  20. - Bigtwich - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 4:13 pm:

    ==It significantly resembles what the GOP case was arguing up here.==

    Cases are decided on facts not argument. The court here found the facts did not support the argument. That was the opposite of the Texas case.


  21. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 4:24 pm:

    ===Willy…what on earth are you talking about? Show me any evidence at all that moderate GOP voters didn’t vote for Bill. I am a moderate, and I voted for him as did all of my moderate friends. Bill lost with indy’s, mostly indy suburban women. I usually find you amusing as hell but on this one, I gotta say “get a grip, dude” ===

    So I’m a clown … I amsue you? (this is snark, appreciate the props …)

    If you break down the Kirk numbers and the Brady numbers, and factor in the indies and the suburban women, and also look at the state as a whole … the Moderate GOPers voted Kirk, skipped Billy, went Lisa and Jesse, then came BACK for Rutherford and Judy.

    THAT is where mt “grip” is, and further, the “measuring of the drapes”, the clandestine trips to Bloomington to divide everything, (which is fine normally if you have everything ‘covered’ for election day) and getting pummeled on the street on election day AND the only thing Brady could say was “We were tracking well”???? That is a loss of a party, a loss of a campaign staff … and now a loss of a map for 10 years!!

    “Tracking well” and getting your voters to the polls and solidifying ALL republican voters are 2 very different things … was NOT done!

    You AND your friends, not withstanding.


  22. - GOP4EVER - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 4:28 pm:

    “Preserving the core of prior districts and keeping incumbents with their constituents are legitimate redistricting objectives.”

    Did they just create a new standard for redistricting with this final sentence? Isn’t the point of redistricting to redraw maps based on population density and demographics without taking in consideration of who currently represents those districts in the US Congress?

    If this new “standard” is upheld, then in 2021 when the maps are drawn again, polling data to determine the popularity of the incumbent should be part of the official record set in addition to Census data as the basis for redrawing the lines.


  23. - Easy - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 4:31 pm:

    I buy Oswego Willy’s assessment, but would narrow the scope. I think the numbers demonstrate that Kirk vastly outperformed Brady within the 10th CD. Outside of the 10th, the vote differentials between the two were much smaller.


  24. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 4:33 pm:

    ===Did they just create a new standard for redistricting with this final sentence?===

    No. The case reference is: Karcher v. Daggett, 462 U.S. 725, 740 (1983) and LULAC, 548 U.S. at 440-41.


  25. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 4:37 pm:

    From Karcher (1983), Justice Brennan…

    “Any number of consistently applied legislative policies might justify some variance, including, for instance, making districts compact, respecting municipal boundaries, preserving the cores of prior districts, and avoiding contests between incumbent Representatives”


  26. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 4:37 pm:

    Thanks, Easy …

    You are right, and I was trying to oversimplify, but I think my points (i.e. Kirk, Rutherford, and Judy out-performed Brady) …are still made and Kirk was at the top, and Brady is where they left.

    And this court opinion, and this map, and where we are today … is the result, which was my point.


  27. - Compacting my head - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 4:39 pm:

    Shock, without knowing the facts of TX, it’s hard to argue that one decision contradicts the other. The standard for a minority latino district is roughly 65%. Doing that twice in Illinois was not feasible. Perhaps in TX it was possible to increase the number of districts and still maintain the baseline latino %.

    Also, the 65% could be different if plaintiffs or defendants brought factual points to the case. For example, there are probably areas where a lesser percentage could satisfy because the latino population has more citizens or is older.


  28. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 4:44 pm:

    ===think the numbers demonstrate that Kirk vastly outperformed Brady within the 10th CD. Outside of the 10th, the vote differentials between the two were much smaller. ===

    This is exactly right and goes to my point right after the election that North Shore women were what really killed the Brady campaign.

    Now, let’s move on.


  29. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 4:46 pm:

    “…That kind of selfish approach to governing should never be tolerated.”

    That’s rich coming from the ILGOP. I’m surprised they could type that tripe with a straight face. I think I clip this and save it for the next time they do something nakedly partisan and expect us to tolerate it. This is politics. They lost. Now they’re crying. And I love it.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 4:52 pm:

    This opinion, to the layman, really shuts the door to this process continuing, and the ILGOP needs to move on and work these districts as best they can with what was dealt. It stinks for the GOP, it is not getting better in the short term, and may get worse in the long term.

    Let’s roll up the sleeves and get a field operation that will deliver 10 more votes a precinct then where we are now … and TRY to turn some things around.

    It’s all we got after this.


  31. - Compacting my head - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 4:59 pm:

    The Dems won’t do nearly as well as they tout. They did a good job, but some of the districts are marginal and the 12th is now in play. I could easily see this being 9-9 at the end of the day.


  32. - GOP4EVER - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 5:06 pm:

    ===From Karcher (1983), Justice Brennan…===

    No disrespect to Justice Brennan, but how the Democrats drew the maps was based on the specific needs of each individual district and was not, as Justice Brennan stated, of a “consistently applied legislative policies” to the entire map as a whole.


  33. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 15, 11 @ 5:15 pm:

    ===No disrespect to Justice Brennan, but how the Democrats drew the maps was based on the specific needs of each individual district and was not, as Justice Brennan stated, of a “consistently applied legislative policies” to the entire map as a whole.===

    I think that is why i am at the point of moving on …

    Your OPINION is well thought and understandable … however, the 3 judges see no FACT/MERIT in the GOP appeal.

    It’s not that you are wrong, or that you are 100 percent right, the facts are stubborn thing and those facts are against the GOP in this “legal” opinion by the 3 justice panal in their ruling of what IS fact-based.


  34. - Skeeter - Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 5:48 am:

    OW, interesting that you would blame moderates.
    If he GOP had nominated a moderate, the moderate would have won.
    It seems to make more sense to blame the right, since while GOP primary voters like the right, most voters do not.
    Nominate bad candidates and lose. It is pretty simple.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 8:00 am:

    Rich wants us to move on about the election and focus on the decision, so I have. If you want to look up some of my posts on the subject, they are out there and i have defended my thoughts on it.

    Thanks.


  36. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 8:49 am:

    The chief way the GOP argument worked was to say that creating a different map would create the likelihood that two districts would become Latino by the end of the decade based on current trends.

    The GOP has taken a hardline against “sampling” which does actually more accurately reflect the real demographics of the community.

    The GOP map would not have produced two Latinos at this time. 50% Latino districts are not sufficiently Latino to get a Latino candidate elected b/c Latinos vote at a low rate. Quigley or Lipinski would still win the primary.

    So, what was this case about again?


  37. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 8:53 am:

    wordslinger, at the end of the day Republicans are Republicans. The Republican Party exists to consolidate wealth and power for the rich and powerful.

    Therefore, spending $2 million on rich lawyers on a lost cause makes sense.

    And spending $2 million on young people to organize your supporters… well, it’s just giving money to the wrong kind of people. There simply aren’t enough children of rich Republicans looking for that type of work.


  38. - wordslinger - Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 9:05 am:

    ==No disrespect to Justice Brennan,–

    You’ve got that right.

    A New Jersey Republican, recommended to the Senate for confirmation by Ike, a small man who was a giant in the annals of American progress toward greater liberty and freedom for all.

    He wouldn’t get the time of day in the 2011 GOP. Nor would Ike. Nor would Reagan.


  39. - wordslinger - Friday, Dec 16, 11 @ 9:18 am:

    –wordslinger, at the end of the day Republicans are Republicans. The Republican Party exists to consolidate wealth and power for the rich and powerful.–

    No, that’s not right. Not the Main Street/Farmers/Civil Rights party I grew up with.

    We need those guys back, more than ever.


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* Menendez, Durbin Praise Final HUD Lead Saf......
* Menendez, Durbin Praise Final HUD Lead Saf......

* Here's what happened in week 2 of the Colo......

* Troopers Catch Driver Blocking License Plate From Florida Tollway Cameras
* Times change and attractions of the past don’t carry the same weight w/ public
* On this MLK Jr. day....
* EXTRA: White House Cubs’ tribute acknowledges Chicago baseball feud
* Caravan Continues Conversion To Sports Bar
* Knight: A Department of Justice worthy of its name
* 2016 World Series Champions Chicago Cubs honored at White House
* This long running blog...
* Democrat Franks spotlights Illinois' property tax devastation
* Where's Weyermuller? Marching with life lovers in Chicago


* Governor Announces Appointments
* Illinois Targeted Violence Prevention Program Receives $187,000 U.S. Department of Homeland Security Grant - Funding will support community training and engagement programs
* Governor Rauner Announces #GovClassroomVisit
* IDoA tips for winter weather preparedness - Health hazards to be aware of during the winter months that could affect older adults
* IDNR announces $3.6 Million in Land and Water Conservation Grants - Federal funding helps local communities purchase public access and recreation spaces




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