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The largest winner amongst states was Texas, which picked up two U.S. House seats and can have 38 within the subsequent Congress.

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Five states gained one seat: Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon.

Seven states misplaced one seat: California (the first time that’s ever happened within the historical past of California being a state), Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Courtesy of the wonderful Daily Kos Elections squad, right here’s a useful map of the modifications: 

Obviously, the dimensions of assorted state legislatures isn’t altering, however that is nonetheless very a lot a statehouse motion subject as a result of state lawmakers are tasked with drawing new congressional maps within the majority of states.

… which is why the truth that Democrats did not flip a single chamber in November 2020 is so devastating for Team Blue at each stage of presidency.

GOP lawmakers within the states will likely be in a position to draw new maps for anywhere from 38% to 46% of all congressional districts.

Meanwhile, Democrats will management the method for simply 16% of seats.

The the rest will doubtless be drawn by nonpartisan entities or by way of bipartisan compromise.

Five of the seven seats being added had been picked up by states the place the GOP has full management of redistricting: Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Texas.

Three of these seven seats had been misplaced by states the place Democrats have some measure of management or affect over redistricting: Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania (Democratic governor, hooray!).

But it’s not sufficient for Republicans to regulate many of the subsequent spherical of redistricting.

The GOP desires to have its means on just about every little thing.

And in case you have the temerity to attempt to use issues like “checks and balances” or “the rule of law” to carry them to account, good luck with that.

Because Republican lawmakers don’t have any reservations about changing judges who don’t agree with them with judges who do.

Take, as an illustration, Montana.

It’s simple to overlook that the final two governors of the Treasure State had been Democrats, however the GOP is fulling operating the present in Helena as of late.

… besides not absolutely sufficient for Republicans’ liking.

High on that candy trifecta management of state authorities for the primary time since 2004, the GOP is thirstily passing a complete passel of payments of doubtful constitutionality.

But what to do about that pesky state Supreme Court that may inform the GOP-controlled legislature that they will’t simply do any outdated factor they need?

You fuck round and hope you don’t discover out, that’s what.

Since this 12 months’s legislative session started, lawmakers have proposed numerous bills looking for modifications to the judicial department.

This resulted in a progressive escalation of tensions between the 2 branches of presidency because the GOP-controlled legislature handed payments designed to cut back the independence of Montana’s highest court docket.

The cherry on high of the Republicans’ anti-separation-of-powers sundae is HB 325.

This measure—if authorised by voters on the poll field in 2022—would successfully gerrymander the state judiciary by forcing candidates for the state Supreme Court to run in seven pre-carved districts (sure, I do know they don’t have the Census information but that they’d want to ensure these districts have equal inhabitants, that’s a part of the enjoyable right here).

According to DKE’s Stephen Wolf, if these districts had been utilized in 2020 to elect the state’s Supreme Court justices, GOP candidates would have received a majority of the seven seats regardless of shedding the statewide vote by 7%.

But wait, it will get higher! A justice operating for reelection doesn’t have to truly reside within the district—they’re simply caught operating within the district with the quantity equivalent to the order wherein they’re subsequent up for election.

It’s completely arbitrary and really clearly designed to dilute the voting energy of Montana’s (few as it’s) Democratic-leaning city facilities.

But when you suppose that is the one place that GOP-controlled state governments are screwing round with the judiciary, I’ve bought some unhealthy information for you.

In Tennessee, GOP lawmakers get fairly sore when the state Supreme Court strikes down legal guidelines as unconstitutional.

Their answer?

Create a new court (that may conveniently be stacked with GOP appointees)!

A form of “super court” can be established below legislation moving through the Tennessee statehouse to listen to constitutional challenges to state legal guidelines.

Tennessee’s new court would initially be staffed by three judges appointed by Republican Gov. Bill Lee. Starting in 2022, the judges would run within the state’s first partisan statewide judicial races.

Currently, Tennessee Supreme Court justices are appointed by the governor after which topic to statewide retention elections each eight years—which implies there are nonetheless two holdovers the state’s final Democratic governor.

Meanwhile, Texas Republicans are getting nervous concerning the inroads Democrats are making in judicial elections.

They’ve thought of numerous shady choices to “remedy” this, and so they appear to have settled on one.

A invoice that has already cleared the state Senate and is being considered by the House would create a brand new appellate court docket to listen to a variety of appeals, including lawsuits that challenge state laws or government action.

Currently, most circumstances difficult Texas legal guidelines are appealed to the court docket in Austin, which occurs to be a Democratic bastion within the state.

But the brand new court docket can be chosen in statewide partisan elections, the place Republicans nonetheless have a really actual leg up.

It’s nearly hilarious that, whereas the nationwide GOP is screaming about Democrats’ proposal to increase the U.S. Supreme Court, state-level counterparts are overtly screwing with precise separation of powers and precise court-packing.

And that is nothing new.

Republicans in states have a constant and intensive historical past of messing with state judiciaries or different impartial establishments as technique of revenge for selections perceived as antagonistic to the GOP’s pursuits. A glance again at simply the previous decade gives myriad examples.

First, let’s set the wayback machine to 2011, when Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC), created in 2000 by way of a voter-initiated poll measure that eliminated the drawing of state legislative and congressional district maps from lawmakers’ fingers, drew new congressional maps that failed to provide adequate benefit to Republicans. Brewer proceeded to fire the head of the IRC for this affront.

The Arizona Supreme Court discovered that Brewer had inadequate purpose to take away the fee’s chief and reinstated her. The “offending” maps had been authorised by the IRC and went into impact for the 2012 elections.

But Arizona’s Republicans weren’t executed messing with the IRC. If we will’t management it, they determined, let’s do away with it. So the legislature’s GOP majority sued to have the IRC declared unconstitutional, saying it unlawfully eliminated energy over redistricting from the lawmakers themselves. The U.S. Supreme Court disagreed, and Arizona Republicans had been pressured to let the IRC stay in existence. Arizona Republicans then tried to get the maps themselves declared unconstitutional, however that didn’t go their way, both.

Yet, years later, Arizona Republicans stored making an attempt to twist the IRC into one thing they will management. The fee is set now, although, so additional shenanigans will preserve till after the GOP decides if it likes the map it will get or not.

But courts stay Republicans’ favourite goal. In 2015, the Kansas Supreme Court upheld a decrease court docket ruling discovering the state’s technique of funding public colleges each insufficient and unfairly distributed. This upset the Republican-controlled legislature, which responded with a pair of retaliatory legal guidelines that created a catch-22 of types for state courts. The first legislation stripped the state Supreme Court of administrative energy over decrease courts; the second stripped the state’s whole court docket system of funding if a court docket struck down any a part of the earlier legislation.

(In different phrases: If you don’t rule precisely the best way we demand, we’re going to remove each penny that funds your operations—from the copy machines to the clerks to the judges themselves.)

That first legislation eradicating the court docket’s authority was a minimum of fairly straightforwardly unconstitutional, and the Kansas Supreme Court dominated thusly. But that triggered the legislation that eradicated the state court docket system’s financing. This didn’t final too lengthy, although; it’s laborious to run for re-election after you’ve destroyed the judicial system and your state’s turn out to be a lawless hellscape, in any case. Just a few weeks later, the legislature blinked and handed a bill restoring the courts’ funding.

But Republicans weren’t going to let this perceived affront go with no additional struggle. Proposals surfaced to broaden the grounds for judicial impeachment, to provide the governor and the legislature full energy over judicial choice, and to start electing judges to state courts. The efforts stalled in 2016, however there’s no purpose to suppose Republicans are giving up. Already this 12 months, they’ve denied the state judicial branch’s request for a finances improve.

By the best way, all 5 of the Kansas Supreme Court justices dealing with retention elections in 2016 kept their seats on the bench.

Speaking of 2016 elections, that was the 12 months Democrat Roy Cooper ousted Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in North Carolina’s gubernatorial election. The state’s Republican legislators, occupying comfy, veto-proof supermajorities in each the state House and Senate—obtained by way of gerrymanders which have since been dominated unconstitutional by the courts—had been positively incensed {that a} Democrat had the temerity to win this race. So the GOP set about eradicating as a lot energy from the chief department as they conceivably might.

In December particular classes, with McCrory nonetheless in workplace however content material to go out in a blaze of sour grapes, Republican legislators passed measures that essentially altered the state’s election oversight boards and compelled the governor’s cupboard appointees to undergo state Senate approval. They additionally slashed the variety of gubernatorial appointees from 1,500 to 425.

The North Carolina Supreme Court ended up blocking most of this Republican legislative energy seize and restored much of this authority to Cooper shortly thereafter. But then Republicans used their veto-proof majorities to principally move the identical factor once more—and once more a state court swatted them down.

So, offered with some judicial rulings they didn’t like, Republican lawmakers set about messing with North Carolina’s court system itself. They began by ending public campaign financing, remodeling the state’s beforehand nonpartisan judicial elections into partisan contests, after which they canceled judicial primaries. When three Republican judges on the state’s Court of Appeals hit obligatory retirement age, GOP lawmakers reduced the size of the court from 15 to 12, simply to forestall the Democratic governor from appointing replacements.

Republican lawmakers additionally dislike being watched and investigated by companies they will’t management. In 2015, the Republican-controlled Wisconsin legislature disbanded the state’s nonpartisan elections and ethics oversight company, the Government Accountability Board (GAB). The GAB was created by a near-unanimous vote of the legislature again in 2007, and it had been hailed as “a national model for ethics and elections.” But after dealing with eight years of investigations of potential marketing campaign violations, Republicans determined it was time to return to the unhealthy outdated days of partisan oversight.

Almost the entire GAB’s critics had been Republicans, and their ire was largely motivated by a GAB investigation into potential (and unlawful) coordination between GOP Gov. Scott Walker’s marketing campaign and conservative teams throughout the 2012 recall election. Democrats lacked the numbers within the legislature to halt the GOP’s invoice to dismantle the GAB, and in 2016, the board was officially dissolved and split right into a separate ethics fee and an elections oversight fee. Commission members are actually chosen by legislative leaders or the governor—the exact same partisan officeholders the commissioners are alleged to oversee. Critics called the move a deliberate attempt to doom effective enforcement of Wisconsin election laws.”

And let’s not overlook the continuing menace from Pennsylvania Republicans to gerrymander that state’s Supreme Court after it dominated in 2018 ruling that their gerrymandered congressional map violated the state structure. The GOP responded with defiance, lashing out publicly. They even threatened to evict the offending justices from the bench by way of impeachment.

And this struggle isn’t over! The invoice that might have put that constitutional modification gerrymandering Pennsylvania’s highest court on the poll this spring is in limbo for the moment, but it surely’s on no account lifeless, and if historical past is any information, Republicans will attempt to move it once they suppose nobody is paying consideration.

This is only a small sampling of probably the most egregious assaults Republicans have leveled on the judiciary and different impartial companies and branches of presidency, but it surely’s on no account an exhaustive checklist (although the nonpartisan Brennan Center has a catalog of plenty more).

The backside line: The GOP’s contempt for courts and different authorities branches and companies they lack energy over burns intensely. Progressives have to be girded for these ongoing assaults and struggle again with even larger ardour.



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