February 13, 2018

Our show on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 12:00-1:00 PM EST will focus on two critical political issues of our times: The threat of political and racial gerrymandering and the lingering failure of Congress to address the limbo faced by 800,000 DACA recipients.

Our expert guests will include State Senator Vincent Hughes of Pennsylvania and Simone Williams, Managing Partner, Williams Global Law, PLLC. See their pictures and bios at www.barbaraarnwine.com.

The threat of political partisan gerrymandering and racial gerrymandering have seriously undermined confidence in our democracy. The Supreme Court of the United States has heard one major case involving the constitutionality of extreme partisan gerrymandering redistricting in Wisconsin by Republicans, Gill v Whitford, and has accepted a second case alleging partisan gerrymandering by Democrats from Maryland, Benisek v Lamone. Over the years the court has struck down racial gerrymandering but has been reluctant to address political, partisan gerrymandering. Many are wondering if 2018 will signal a new direction by the court in the area of partisan gerrymandering.

Yet, the most significant development in political gerrymandering has occurred in Pennsylvania where in the case of League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania V Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the State Supreme Court on January 17, 2018, ruled as unconstitutional under the State Constitution the 2011 federal congressional redistricting maps drawn by the Republican Party which favored GOP districts 13-5 in a state comprised of 1 million more Democrats. The court enjoined the map and ordered the General Assembly to submit a new map with the Governor’s approval by February 15th. This decision was met with defiance by Republican state legislators including threats of impeachment against the justices of the court!

On February 9th, the General Assembly’s leadership unilaterally submitted to the Governor a map more partisan than the map rejected by the State Supreme Court. In addition the map may violate the Voting Rights Act. Troubling, this map was not submitted for review or a vote by the General Assembly. The Governor has stated that he will not approve the leadership’s map. It is unclear how this dilemma will be resolved by the deadline of February 15th.

In other major news, last week Congress reached a budget deal which will ended a short governmental shutdown. However, not included in this deal was a resolution of the DACA crisis which places 800,000 undocumented young people brought to this country by their parents as children at risk of deportation to countries many have never even visited. Currently, a court order has been issued to protect DACA recipients but it is subject to being overturned on appeal. President Trump and some of the GOP are offering a hard deal that while creating a pathway to citizenship for 1.3 million undocumented including DACA recipients would also provide billions for a border wall, end family reunification and the diversity lottery.

During our show we will explore these two major crises. Questions include: What is the impact of extreme partisan gerrymandering in redistricting at the state and congressional level?; How can extreme partisan gerrymandering be ended?; What are next steps in Pennsylvania?; Does the Pennsylvania lawsuit set a model for challenging partisan redistricting in other states?; What can voters do to stop extreme partisan gerrymandering?; Are independent commissions the answer?; What are the elements of the budget deal?; Has Congress abandoned DACA recipients?; Why did the Democrats agree to the budget deal without a DACA fix?; What will happen next week with debate in the Senate?; Can a bi-partisan consensus be reached?; and, What are the options for resolution?

You don’t want to miss this show!

Be sure to listen live on Tuesday, February 13 from 12 to 1:00 PM Eastern in the Greater DC Metro Region at WOL 1450 AM and worldwide on the Internet at www.barbaraarnwine.com. You may call in with your questions and brief comments during the show at 800-450-7876. A podcast of the show will be available on Tuesday evening.

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Vincent Hughes

Senator Vincent J. Hughes is a leading progressive voice on local, state, and national issues. He was elected by his colleagues in 2010 to be […]


Simone Williams is founder and Managing Attorney representing international businesses and investors in matters relating to U.S. and global immigration, EB-5 investments, corporate formation and […]