Don't count on the Roberts Court to divorce itself from politics

To the editor: Bruce Ackerman and Ian Ayres have their hopes misplaced if they believe that the current U.S. Supreme Court will uphold the status quo on drawing political districts according to total population because of a desire to preserve its credibility as an "impartial defender of the democratic process." ("In Supreme Court redistricting case, it's the 'whole number of persons,'" op-ed, May 29)

The five conservative justices are well aware that their party faces a demographic Armageddon, and I doubt they savor the possibility of living out their days as an irrelevant minority on the court. Thus their governing principle is simple: undermine democracy to preserve GOP power.

In this they will not be deterred by such quaint notions as precedence, consistency, credibility or the plain language of the Constitution.

Eventually democracy will triumph. The only question is how much damage these justices will do to the court and the country before they finally give up the ghost.


Paul Gulino, Santa Monica


To the editor: Ackerman and Ayres mention the phrase "excluding Indians not taxed" in the part of the 14th Amendment they say supports the idea that congressional districts should be drawn according to population. However, they fail to do any analysis of what that phrase meant to the amendment's framers.

The framers inserted that phrase for a reason, and the piece neglects to mention what that reason might be. Without an understanding of what that phrase meant to the framers, an analysis such as the one by Ackerman and Ayres is at best incomplete and at worst disingenuous.

Jim Stein, Redondo Beach

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