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Democrats Debate, Gerrymandering Stays

Democratic presidential candidates former vice president Joe Biden, left, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., right, stand on stage for a photo op before the start of the the Democratic primary debate on June 27, 2019.
Wilfredo Lee
/
Associated Press
Democratic presidential candidates former vice president Joe Biden, left, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., right, stand on stage for a photo op before the start of the the Democratic primary debate on June 27, 2019.

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss the future of Ohio's congressional map and two nights of Democratic presidential debates. Ann Fisher, host of 89.7 NPR's All Sides with Ann Fisher, joins the show.

Listen to Snollygoster on the WOSU Public Media mobile app, on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. And make sure to leave a rating and review!

On this week's episode:
Supreme "Not My Problem" Court

Ohio’s congressional map will remain gerrymandered for a few more years. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision released Thursday, essentially ruled that excessively partisan gerrymandering is not a constitutional issue.

The court’s majority admitted that even if excessive partisan map making leads to unjust results, it’s not the role of the judiciary to fix the system. The responsibility belongs to lawmakers and voters. So, to put it another way, they’re telling lawmakers to fix a problem that they create.

Ohio will get new congressional and state legislative maps one way or another in 2021, thanks to voter-passed constitutional amendments. But the ruling was still a blow for voting rights groups, who wanted a new map before the 2020 election.

Democrats Fight For The Spotlight

Twenty Democratic presidential candidiates debated over two nights this week. With such a large field of candidiates, there was a lot of interrupting. Though there were no clear winners, a few candidiates performed well and likley gained some support.

Send your questions and comments to snollygoster@wosu.org.

Mike Thompson spends much of his time correcting people who mispronounce the name of his hometown – Worcester, Massachusetts. Mike studied broadcast journalism at Syracuse University when he was not running in circles – as a distance runner on the SU track team.
Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.
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