Giovedi, 23 Novembre, 2017

Justices could consider fight over electoral maps

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Parmenio Sano | 20 Giugno, 2017, 00:35

The opinions expressed are his own.

Wisconsin voter William Whitford is the lead plaintiff in the case against state elections commissioner Beverly Gill. In 2016, a federal district court agreed with those Democratic voters, ruling that the state's election map had been drawn for partisan advantage.

Though Kennedy anxious about "the failings of the many proposed standards for measuring the burden a gerrymander imposes on representational rights" - that is, the fact that it is hard to come up with an objective test courts can use to determine which maps are gerrymanders - he also concluded that "if workable standards do emerge to measure these burdens. courts should be prepared to order relief". The vote to stay this order suggests that five members of the Supreme Court are leaning in the direction of doing nothing about Wisconsin's gerrymander.

Sen. Jennifer Shilling, Wisconsin state Senate Democratic minority leader: "Regardless of the outcome in this case, we must remain committed to promoting election fairness, protecting voter rights and preserving our shared democratic values". Voter ID laws, campaign finance rules, and redistricting maps are all suspect when the primary motivation for them is to stay in power. They also have majorities in an all-time high of 69 of 99 state legislative chambers, according to the Republican State Leadership Committee. "A rule against partisan gerrymandering will have a major impact for communities of color, where partisanship unfortunately has often been used as an excuse for actions that hurt minorities", Li said in a statement. "Well, that's as much a political judgment and partisan gerrymander as the one that the plaintiffs alleged to have occurred", Esenberg says. But the high court could ultimately establish a new limit on the role politics plays into redistricting. The politicians are choosing their voters instead of the other way around. Redistricting commonly takes place after the once-a-decade census is conducted.

Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause, added that gerrymandering "drive [s] too many Americans from our democratic process because citizens feel their votes don't count and sadly in states like Wisconsin and North Carolina today many of those citizens are absolutely right".

"Democratic voters tend to be more geographically concentrated than Republican voters".

The Supreme Court is wading into the thicket of partisan redistricting in a case from Wisconsin.

Before 2011, the last two electoral maps were drawn by federal judges after the legislature was unable to reach agreement.


"Gerrymandering" refers to the practice of drawing legislative district lines to favor incumbents, political parties or interest groups.

"The metric that they came up with they called the efficiency gap, and it measures what they call wasted votes". In essence, the standard, created by a law professor and a political science professor, provides a numerical way to test the partisan disadvantage in a redistricting plan.

The appeals court found that Wisconsin's map was meant to entrench one party in power over the life of the districting plan.

The justices should correct the lower court's "flawed analysis before it spreads to other jurisdictions and interferes with the states' fundamental political responsibilities", Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller wrote for 12 Republican-dominated states that are backing Wisconsin.

The last time the Supreme Court looked at a challenge to partisan redistricting, the justices tied themselves in knots trying to resolve the case, ending with a muddled decision that didn't answer the basic question. Denniston has written for us as a contributor since June 2011 and has covered the Supreme Court since 1958.

The U.S. Supreme Court has never struck down a state redistricting plan on the basis of a partisan gerrymander.

Election rules should be impartial.

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