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We will never be rid of Scott Walker. Wisconsin voters finally gave him the boot, but he's like a case of drug-resistant gonorrhea, never really gone. This time he's reared his little pinhead in Michigan to fight the scourge of voter-approved bipartisan redistricting commissions, which infringe on the sacred First Amendment right of Republicans to ratfuck themselves into permanent majorities forever. This tyrannical exclusion of politicians and party officials from the redistricting process based on the will of 61 percent of Michigan voters will not stand, man! Not if Scott Walker has anything to say about it!

Last November, Michigan voters approved a state constitutional amendment removing the redistricting process from the wildly gerrymandered legislature and putting it in the hands of a 13-member commission composed of four Democrats, four Republicans, and five unaffiliated voters. Commissioners will be randomly selected from a pool of applicants, using "accepted statistical weighting methods to ensure that the pools, as closely as possible, mirror the geographic and demographic makeup of the state," and the majority and minority leaders of both houses of the Michigan legislature will each be allowed to strike five applicants from the pool. Politicians, party officials, lobbyists, and their families are ineligible for positions on the commission, which pay about $40,000 per year.

Which all sounds pretty fair, right?

But lower-level Republican Party officials are howling like stuck pigs that the state is illegally discriminating against them and penalizing them for exercising their First Amendment right to affiliate with a political party and hold state office. Scott Walker's group The National Republican Redistricting Trust and its affiliate Fair Lines America (George Orwell would be proud!) are backing a consortium of GOP hacks in their lawsuit asking the US District Court in Grand Rapids to declare the entire law unconstitutional and return mapmaking power to the Republican-controlled legislature as White Jesus intended.


How dare the voters accuse these partisans of partisanship! Maybe those randomly selected applicants are the real partisans -- "[T]he selection system may actually inhibit transparency, impartiality, and fairness because eligible applicants may be no less partisan than those who fall into the excluded categories." Obviously, the only fair solution is to throw out the entire law and return the process to the legislature so that Republicans can continue to choose their own voters for all eternity.

But wait, you are saying, what about the doctrine of severability, which presumes that a law is valid even if one of its provisions is struck down? You are so clever! But so are Scott Walker and his buddies, who have an answer for that one, too. They argue that you can't infer voter intent from a ballot initiative, and so how can you possibly know that voters would still have approved the amendment if party officials weren't excluded from the commission? Probably safest to put the whole process back in the Republican legislature's control, huh?

There's only one problem with that argument, and it's the plain wording of the law.

If a final court decision holds any part or parts of this section to be in conflict with the United States constitution or federal law, the section shall be implemented to the maximum extent that the United States constitution and federal law permit. Any provision held invalid is severable from the remaining portions of this section.

Womp womp.

Scott Walker, what say you?

Riiiiiiiiight.

This lawsuit is bullshit, the National Republican Redistricting Trust is bullshit, maps that try to prove a point by showing a sea of red where nobody lives are bullshit, and most of all SCOTT WALKER IS BULLSHIT.

[Detroit News / TPM / Michigan Constitution Article IV § 6 / Daunt v. Benson]

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Your FDF lives in Baltimore under an assumed identity as an upstanding member of the PTA. Shhh, don't tell anyone she makes swears on the internet!

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