US Supreme Court Will Hear Arguments In Wisconsin Gerrymandering Case

  • US Supreme Court Will Hear Arguments In Wisconsin Gerrymandering Case

US Supreme Court Will Hear Arguments In Wisconsin Gerrymandering Case

They will also have just as hard of a time ignoring Trump's presidency as the rest of us, as his controversies permeate almost every part of American life, including professional football, nightly talk shows and happy hour conversations. The process is inherently political, with the majority party in the legislature controlling the process in 28 states (other states use independent commissions). "The outcome was already cooked in", John McGlennon, a professor of government and public policy at the College of William and Mary, told the A.P. On the Web site FiveThirtyEight, David Wasserman, the U.S. House editor for the Cook Political Report, declared that "the congressional map has a record-setting bias against Democrats".

And then the lawsuits came.

Alito, Social Science Skeptic: Justice Samuel Alito Jr. acknowledged that "gerrymandering is distasteful", but recited some of the metrics and formulas that have been advanced for measuring how partisan a given redistricting plan is.

The case reached the high court after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that immigrants fighting deportation are entitled to bond hearings if they have been held for more than six months.

A federal three-judge panel ruled 2-1 last November that Wisconsin's redistricting plan violated the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law and right to freedom of expression and association because of the extent to which it marginalized Democratic voters.

Toward the end of President Reagan's 1987 speech, he stated: "And that's all we're asking for: an end to the antidemocratic and un-American practice of gerrymandering ..." But others are anxious it could lead to a never-ending string of lawsuits.

"I am sure you are, however, familiar with the Justices' concerns surrounding the live broadcast or streaming of oral arguments, which could adversely affect the character and quality of the dialogue between the attorneys and Justices", Mr. Minear said in a letter sent to the lawmakers Monday. "We believe that America is stronger when more people, not fewer, participate on Election Day". These laws were not rigorously enforced through litigation but remained in effect until 1929, when they were dropped as part of a political compromise.

Paul Smith, the same lawyer who failed to get Kennedy's vote and thus a majority 13 years ago, is again urging the court to rein in partisan gerrymandering, or drawing districts for partisan gain.

The court was divided.

Electoral maps sometimes concentrate voters who tend to favor the minority party into a small number of districts to reduce their statewide voting power - called packing - and distribute the rest of those voters in other districts in numbers too small to be a majority - called cracking. The efficiency gap measures the share of votes above and below that margin- the share by either party that is essentially wasted.

Of course, the politicization of the U.S. Supreme Court is a long-established feature of American government and politics. Their ruling, due by June, could have an impact on USA elections for decades by setting standards for when electoral districts are laid out with such extreme partisan aims that they deprive voters of their constitutional rights.

But Anderson fears a ruling in favor of the Democratic voters in Wisconsin would create a situation in Minnesota where anyone from either party could easily mount a challenge to the maps because their candidate didn't win, she said. The temporary apportionment they specified for pre-census Congresses was based on their informed estimates of states' populations. For example, even though Republicans won just 48.6 percent of the vote statewide in 2012, their map-drawing skills made it possible for them to win 60 out of 99 seats in the Wisconsin Assembly. Floridians must continue to hold their legislators accountable for delivering district maps without the need for court orders.

According to Beverly Gill, the state election board's chair, "Act 43's districts are consistent with the prior court-drawn maps".

But that might not always be the case. Republicans, during the 2000 and 2010 redistricting cycles, systematically redrew much of the nation's political map.

At the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, the Justice Department argued the OH law violates a 1993 national voter registration law and the way the DOJ has interpreted it since 1994.

Breyer, seeking clarity, enumerated those steps: determining whether the maps were drawn by one party; determining whether that resulted in asymmetrical representation, and determining whether that asymmetry was likely to persist for years. The issue also crosses party lines.