Lunedi, 12 Novembre, 2018

Reaction to US Supreme Court's Decision to Consider Wisconsin Gerrymandering Case

Courtesy Barnett for Kansas                                             
                  
          Barne Courtesy Barnett for Kansas Barne
Parmenio Sano | 20 Giugno, 2017, 17:13

WASHINGTON-The Supreme Court Monday agreed to consider whether there are constitutional limits to how far lawmakers can go in drawing electoral districts to maximize partisan political advantage, a case that could have profound implications for USA elections.

Three states-Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania-had the most extreme and consistent evidence of partisan gerrymandering.

It's a practice federal courts are already familiar with when it comes to allegations of racial bias in redistricting, resulting in protracted legal battles that have often stretched on for years.

"Drawing new district lines in states with the most redistricting activity presented the opportunity to solidify conservative policymaking at the state level and maintain a Republican stronghold in the U.S. House of Representatives for the next decade", read the report.

That divide could be significant.

Has the Supreme Court decided gerrymandering cases in the past?

The non-partisan redistricting and the state's top-two primary system have led to more-competitive races, some even pitting members of the same party against one another. They argued that Democratic voters were spread so thinly across the state that it was impossible for Democratic legislative candidates to be elected and achieve a majority. Supreme Court announced Monday it will hear arguments in Wisconsin's landmark legislative redistricting case and has given the state permission to stop redrawing new maps until the high court rules on the case. The ruling was the first on over 30 years that declared district lines to be unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering.


The officials said in their appeal that the Republican advantage was a reflection of the concentration of Democrats in urban areas, as well as the benefits of GOP incumbency.

In California, redistricting is the responsibility of an independent commission set up to ensure no one party unduly influences the outcome.

Smith said a victory for the plaintiffs would "be to really affect the way the legislators in all of the states draw their maps next time in 2021 because they will know there's a much-enhanced risk of the map being thrown out and they would much more likely try to minimize the degree of bias in the maps".

The 2-1 decision that struck down Wisconsin's legislative map found Republicans were so partisan and so precise in their drawing of Wisconsin's legislative map in 2011 that they had silenced the voices of Democratic voters in the process.

Erika King, political expert at Grand Valley State University, told FOX 17 that this case has the potential to be a "game changer". Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel countered, "Our redistricting process was entirely lawful and constitutional".

At the heart of the legal challenge is whether the new Assembly boundaries that Republicans shaped create districts that are too partisan.

Some suggest the most extreme examples of partisan gerrymandering can be found in states like MI, where Republicans have maintained majorities in the congressional delegation and the state legislature even though Democrats tend to win more votes. They now have their largest majorities in the state House and Senate in decades.

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