SCOTUS Takes On Gerrymandering

Grind for July 2nd, 2019
“I always arrive late at the office, but I make up for it by leaving early.”

– Charles Lamb

Not My Business

The Headline

Supreme Court decides gerrymandering is a state issue

The Grind

In a much anticipated ruling, the Supreme Court has decided to keep federal courts away from gerrymandering complaints.

The decision allows politicians to continue drawing unfair electoral districts (unless blocked by state courts) and reverses the outcome of rulings in four states that had ordered new congressional maps drawn.

“We conclude that partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

The Details

The plaintiffs – Dems in North Carolina and Republicans in Maryland – claimed that partisan maps drawn by the opposing party were unfair and unconstitutional.

In the majority opinion, Roberts noted that the High Court has never considered a partisan gerrymander as unconditional.

The drawing of congressional districts “poses basic questions that are political, not legal,” explained Roberts. “There are no legal standards discernible in the Constitution for making such judgments, let alone limited and precise standards that are clear, manageable, and politically neutral.”

Dissenting justices portrayed the ruling as a failure.

“Of all times to abandon the Court’s duty to declare the law, this was not the one,” wrote Justice Elena Kagan. “The practices challenged in these cases imperil our system of government. Part of the Court’s role in that system is to defend its foundations. None is more important than free and fair elections.”

Did You Know?

The Headline

Why women are always cold

The Grind

Scientific research suggests women feel colder than men most of the time.

As a female, I agree. If I ask you to borrow your jacket, I’m not trying to be romantic. I’m just cold. And while this feeling can be a good thing on date night, it’s not so great for office environments, grocery stores, restaurants, and theaters.

The Details

The female body is designed to keep the reproductive system safe and warm. This means women tend to have more body fat and less muscle, less blood in their bodies, slower circulation, and a slower metabolism.

These factors limit blood flow to the extremities, causing coldness in the fingers and toes, and make it harder to regulate body temperature.

To make matters worse, women maintain a higher base temperature than men. This means women are more sensitive to changes in external temperature. Think about entering a cold restaurant after walking in the sun. It feels even colder than it should because you were so warm before.

Thanks to the effects of female hormones like estrogen, women taking birth control may experience increased sensitivity to external temperature changes.

Despite the established differences between men and women, most public spaces are set up to accommodate men. I hope this standard will change in the future, but for now, I will keep asking to borrow your jacket.

Did you know… The human brain is insensitive to pain.