Article by Hans von Spakovsky from Daily Signal.
It would force state legislatures to hand over the redistricting process to unaccountable bureaucrats and institutionalizes racial and gender quotas.
It would also implement what amounts to a test to participate in redistricting that violates the associational and religious rights of the public.
People often complain about gerrymandering by state legislatures when they draw the political lines after every decennial census. But legislators at least are accountable to voters, who can vote them out of office if the voters are not satisfied with the job the legislators do.
That’s certainly not true with the appointed members of government commissions.
Yet that is exactly what HR 1 creates. It would abrogate the authority of state legislators to draw the boundary lines of congressional districts and transfer it to so-called independent redistricting commissions, which in states such as Arizona and California have not proven to be very “independent.”
The very detailed requirements for eligibility to serve on these commissions, hidden deep inside the 800-page bill, are shocking and offensive.
Are you an American who has recently changed his or her mind on which political party best supports your values, views, and principles? If you’ve done so within the past three years, you can’t serve on a commission because you are only eligible if you’ve “been continuously registered to vote with the same political party” for the three years prior to your appointment.
If you want to be considered for appointment, you have to disclose your “household income for the most recent taxable year.” Apparently, your income is somehow important to whether you are qualified to determine the political boundaries of congressional districts.
But it gets worse.
You can’t even be considered for the commission unless you disclose your “involvement with, or financial support of, professional, social, political, religious, or community organizations or causes.”
In other words, not only do you have disclose which church, mosque, or synagogue you attend, but also your support for nonprofit organizations, such as the NAACP or the NRA, NARAL or Citizens for Life.
That’s exactly the kind of information the U.S. Supreme Court told Alabama in 1958 that it could not require be publicly disclosed because it violated the constitutional rights of citizens to associate for the advancement of their beliefs and ideas.
In today’s “woke” cancel culture, forcing such disclosure would likely subject anyone who wants to be in the “selection pool” to harassment and intimidation—exactly what the NAACP feared would happen when it went to court in 1958.
Furthermore, religious tests are strictly outlawed by Article VI of the U.S. Constitution for federal offices, and the Supreme Court extended that prohibition to all state offices in 1961 in Torcaso v. Watkins through the First Amendment.
Forcing individuals to disclose their religious affiliation potentially puts them in the position of not being chosen due to their religious beliefs, which is essentially a prohibited religious test.
What possible explanation is there for the sponsors of HR 1 to put this into their bill other than to allow that to happen?
But HR 1 is even more insidious. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. So why does HR 1 require anyone who wants to be in the “selection pool” to disclose their “race, ethnicity, [and] gender”?
It’s because HR 1 sets up what amount to discriminatory quotas for membership, that’s why.
HR 1 requires that membership on the redistricting commission be “representative of the demographic groups [including racial, ethnic, economic, and gender] … of the State.” In other words, the membership of the commission has to match the racial, ethnic, and gender proportions of the state’s population. In short, that’s a racial- and gender-quota system.
Whether a state follows this diktat would be reported to Congress. HR 1 requires the comptroller general of the United States to “submit to Congress a report on the extent to which the membership of independent redistricting commissions … meet the diversity requirements” of this statute.
There are many other objectionable requirements in this part of HR 1 on redistricting commissions.
To be a considered for appointment, you also have to disclose your “employment and educational history.” That history is not relevant to whether you are entitled to vote, and we would all be highly offended and incensed if Congress said there should be “employment and educational” requirements before you are allowed to vote.
So, where is the outrage over your job and education history being a consideration with respect to whether you, as a citizen, are allowed to be selected to draw the lines of the congressional districts you are qualified to vote in or run in as a candidate?
Moreover, this provision discriminates against spouses and family members of those who are active in politics. You cannot be on a commission if your spouse or other “immediate” family member holds public office—even if that office has nothing whatsoever to do with Congress or congressional districts.
In other words, if your wife is on the local town council, you cannot serve on a commission that draws the boundaries of congressional districts.
If you contributed more than $1,000 in total to any political candidates for any “public office or to any political action committee” in the 10 years prior to appointment, you are also banned from serving on a commission.
Again, that means that if you made a donation to someone running for dog catcher, the local school board, or your town council, and that total combined was more than $1,000, you can’t draw the lines for congressional districts.
In other words, they don’t want anyone who has actually participated in our democratic political process or is even related to anyone who participates in our political process.
Who should be outraged by HR 1 and this redistricting scheme? Answer: every American, and especially every “father, stepfather, mother, stepmother, son, stepson, daughter, stepdaughter, brother, stepbrother, sister, stepsister, husband, wife, father-in-law, or mother-in-law” excluded from the redistricting process because of their family’s political involvement or their race, ethnicity, gender, income, employment, and education.
In other words, everyone.
‘The Purge’ by Big Tech targets conservatives, including us
Just when we thought the Covid-19 lockdowns were ending and our ability to stay afloat was improving, censorship reared its ugly head.
For the last few months, NOQ Report has appealed to our readers for assistance in staying afloat through Covid-19 lockdowns. The downturn in the economy has limited our ability to generate proper ad revenue just as our traffic was skyrocketing. We had our first sustained stretch of three months with over a million visitors in November, December, and January, but February saw a dip.
It wasn’t just the shortened month. We expected that. We also expected the continuation of dropping traffic from “woke” Big Tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but it has actually been much worse than anticipated. Our Twitter account was banned. One of our YouTube accounts was banned and another has been suspended. Facebook “fact-checks” everything we post. Spotify canceled us. Why? Because we believe in the truth prevailing, and that means we will continue to discuss “taboo” topics.
The 2020 presidential election was stolen. You can’t say that on Big Tech platforms without risking cancelation, but we’d rather get cancelled for telling the truth rather than staying around to repeat mainstream media’s lies. They have been covering it up since before the election and they’ve convinced the vast majority of conservative news outlets that they will be harmed if they continue to discuss voter fraud. We refuse to back down. The truth is the truth.
The lies associated with Covid-19 are only slightly more prevalent than the suppression of valid scientific information that runs counter to the prescribed narrative. We should be allowed to ask questions about the vaccines, for example, as there is ample evidence for concern. One does not have to be an “anti-vaxxer” in order to want answers about vaccines that are still considered experimental and that have a track record in a short period of time of having side-effects. These questions are not allowed on Big Tech which is just another reason we are getting cancelled.
There are more topics that they refuse to allow. In turn, we refuse to stop discussing them. This is why we desperately need your help. The best way NOQ Report readers can help is to donate. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well. We are on track to be short by about $5300 per month in order to maintain operations.
The second way to help is to become a partner. We’ve strongly considered seeking angel investors in the past but because we were paying the bills, it didn’t seem necessary. Now, we’re struggling to pay the bills. We had 5,657,724 sessions on our website from November, 2020, through February, 2021. Our intention is to elevate that to higher levels this year by focusing on a strategy that relies on free speech rather than being beholden to progressive Big Tech companies.
During that four-month stretch, Twitter and Facebook accounted for about 20% of our traffic. We are actively working on operating as if that traffic is zero, replacing it with platforms that operate more freely such as Gab, Parler, and others. While we were never as dependent on Big Tech as most conservative sites, we’d like to be completely free from them. That doesn’t mean we will block them, but we refuse to be beholden to companies that absolutely despise us simply because of our political ideology.
We’re heading in the right direction and we believe we’re ready talk to patriotic investors who want to not only “get in on the action” but more importantly who want to help America hear the truth. Interested investors should contact me directly with the contact button above.
As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report going.