Previously I have written that the Fourteenth Amendment specifically provides for a reduction in representation for any state that engages in voter suppression.
Section Two of the Fourteenth Amendment provides in part:
“[W]hen the right to vote at any election … is denied to any … citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion [thereto]….”
In view of the GOP Supreme Court majority deciding that partisan gerrymandering is a “political question” beyond the purview of the courts, I want to take this matter further. Because if the Congress is willing to play hardball, it has a remedy.
Article 4, Section 4 of the US Constitution provides:
“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.”
Importantly, In Luther v. Borden (1849), the Supreme Court established the doctrine that questions arising under this section are political, not judicial, in character and that “it rests with Congress to decide what government is the established one in a State . . . as well as its republican character.”
In other words, it has already been established that what the guarantee of a “republican form of government is” is not for the Federal Courts, but for the Congress and the President to determine.
Do States have a “republican form of government” if a minority of the people are able to entrench themselves as a permanent legislative majority based on the outcome of just one election? Now that the Supreme Court has said that the Courts may not act, I think Congress has every right to declare that this is the case, both at the state and federal election levels, and to refuse to seat anybody winning such elections.