By State Representative, Leon D. Young
Last week, we saw two blatant (and highly egregious!) examples of the havoc that results when the Republican majority opts to use its authority for nefarious and self-serving purposes.
The abuses to which I refer are equally appalling and bodes poorly for the entire nation.
In a stunning turn of events, a three-judge federal panel has ordered Governor Scott Walker and lawmakers to redraw state district maps by November 1, 2017, so that the newly configured maps would be available for the fall 2018 elections.
Just two months prior, another federal panel dropped the first shoe when it struck down Wisconsin’s legislative maps as unconstitutional.
What makes this judicial determination even more compelling was the fact that the federal court rendered a unanimous decision in requiring the district maps be redrawn.
It should also be noted that the federal panel rejected the state’s request to wait until the U.S. Supreme Court has weighed in on the case, which would have been totally unrealistic and an obvious delay tactic.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, has literally pushed the country to the verge of a national crisis, with his ill-conceived executive order that temporarily bans immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.
The ban caught most by surprise, as authorities, travelers and lawyers struggled to understand both its scope and implementation.
Trump’s travel restriction has sparked numerous protests and demonstrations not only in this country, but in several countries around the world.
In another act of defiance, acting Attorney General, Sally Q. Yates, refused to defend Trump’s immigration executive order.
In her decision, not to defend the order, Ms. Yates questioned not only the order’s lawfulness, but also whether it was a “wise and just” policy.
In typical Apprentice Show fashion, Trump opted to do what he does best: he fired Ms. Yates; the very individual his administration had asked to stay on during the Senate confirmation process.
Continuing this rampage, Trump unleashed his new attack dog, White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who went as far as to warn State Department officials that they should leave their jobs if they did not agree with Mr. Trump’s agenda.
The GOP’s obsession with winning at any cost and its subsequent exploitation of that political authority, once realized, has the potential to undermine the very essence of our democracy. There’s truth to that political adage: “To the victor go the spoils.”
(A concept popularized by Julius Caesar in about 62 BC). But that begs an essential question: How far are Trump and his Republicans cohorts willing to go and at what cost to our democracy?