Seventy-four words that can save American Democracy.

Districts represented by members of Congress, or by members of any state legislative body, shall be compact and composed of contiguous territory. The state shall have the burden of justifying any departures from this requirement by reference to neutral criteria such as natural, political, or historical boundaries or demographic changes. The interest in enhancing or preserving the political power of the party in control of the state government is not such a neutral criterion.

This is the brain-child of former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.  And if he gets his way (and I’ll do all I can to see that he does) it will become the next Amendment to the United States Constitution.  It is one of six proposed Amendments he is advocating in a new book (appropriately titled Six Amendments) to come out later this year.

Six Amendments -- But there's one that should be TOP priority

Six Amendments — But there’s one that should be TOP priority

Right now, though, the one that excites me is the one above regarding on political gerrymandering.  Folks that know me at all know that I have long been a critic of such practices, whether done by Democrats or Republicans.  Just within the last month, I had a piece in the Charlotte Observer complimenting the conservative Republican Secretary State of Ohio for his enlightened and courageous stand on the issue.  (The practice is also especially bad in North Carolina.)

As I’ve noted before in another op-ed piece,  The vast majority of this nation’s Congressional districts are surgically tailored to protect incumbents from one party or the other. This precise “gerrymandering” produces representatives who have zero incentive for reasoned compromise; indeed it is more likely to be penalized.

Thus, we have a situation where far more often politicians are pick their voters rather than voters having any substantive say in choosing their representatives.

About Mike Daisley - Civil Litigation Attorney, Mediator, Writer, Licensed Lay Preacher (Episcopal Church, Diocese of North Carolina)

Mike Daisley is a civil litigation attorney and Certified Mediator in Charlotte, North Carolina, and owner and president of "DaisleyLegal" a virtual law firm focused on helping victims of drunk driving injuries and other careless individuals and corporations. He devotes a significant time of his practice as a mediator in North Carolina's Superior Courts, using his 35 years of litigation experience to counsel and assist opposing parties to resolve their disputes and lawsuits cooperatively, avoiding the high expenses and time commitments involved in going to trial. In addition to his commitment to Civil Trial Advocacy and Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mike is also an avid writer, and has a wide array of interests outside of his legal practice, including stints as a columnist for The Charlotte Observer, political analyst for WCNC-TV and WBT Radio. Mike’s biggest passion outside the law is learning and writing about theology, and especially the role doubt plays in faith, the role faith plays (or should play) in politics, and (as he puts it) the “beauty and deep mystery” of the liturgy. Mike is a lifelong Episcopalian, and often jokes that means "I am a raging agnostic at least two or three days a week.” In 2019, he was appointed by the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina as a licensed Lay Preacher in the Episcopal Church. (A sample of Mike’s preaching can be heard here: To discuss the possibility of teaching, lecture, sermon or interview requests (or to make any comments or suggestions about the “WithGladness” blog) you may contact Mike at any Office email : Personal email: Office voicemail: (704) 554-2306 Mike Daisley & Associates, LLC 1515 Mockingbird Lane, Suite 400 Charlotte, North Carolina 28209
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