US Supreme Court revisits political 'gerrymandering' tactic

Maryland Democrats Went Too Far In Gerrymandering. The Supreme Court Appears Unsure What To Do About It.

Supreme Court Struggles For A Solution In Dem Gerrymander Case

In a similar vein, a USA district court in North Carolina also struck down a Republican gerrymander in that state.

In Pennsylvania, a recent court ruling reshaped congressional districts for this year's elections.

The Pennsylvania Massacre came in the wake of other special elections where, even if Republicans didn't actually lose, they saw their vote totals drop like Facebook stock.

What I mean is this: The Brennan report asks, what would it take to flip one more seat in each state?

In Wednesday's arguments, the majority of the justices appeared to agree that Maryland officials had created an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander in redrawing its 6th Congressional District after the 2010 Census.

Costa's plan, which would not require a Constitutional amendment, could be enacted at any time through 2020 and still be operative for the 2021 redistricting, he said. And the Supreme Court should step in to save democracy from partisan hacks. "Roscoe Bartlett was defeated in 2012 and no Republican has won in the district in the years since". It's since been held by a Democrat.

Accordingly, the plaintiffs in the Wisconsin case tailored their challenge to partisan gerrymandering to Kennedy's concerns, coming up with a mathematical standard (called the "efficiency gap") for determining how far mapmakers with partisan motives have strayed from fair decisions. According to the authors, the deck of district lines is so dramatically stacked in the GOP's favor that it will take an absolutely historic wave for the Democrats to win control of the House. Those maps were permanently adopted by the Legislature and governor in 2013. Gerrymandering can have significant influence on the outcome of individual congressional races-and for that reason alone deserves attention-but gerrymandered districts (or the lack thereof) did not singlehandedly swing Republicans into power during the 2010s.

Once seated, the commission would have the task of drawing maps for all three types of legislative districts, passing preliminary plans and, after public hearings, passing final plans by August 15 of, in this case, 2021. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wondered whether it wasn't "much too late" for the Republican challengers, even if they were successful, "for there to be any change for the 2018 election".

It is unclear why the Supreme Court added the Maryland case to the docket after hearing arguments in the Wisconsin case.

If the court decides that "proof of intent to act for political purposes" in redistricting is unconstitutional, wrote Mr. von Spakovsky, now a legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, "they will be turning the courts into just such weapons and usurping the authority of the political branches of government".

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"And as it turns out, that's what they did, and it worked", Kimberly told reporters Monday.

Thanks in part to their gerrymander, Republicans now hold 63 of 99 seats in the Assembly and 18 of 33 seats in the Senate.

"The result of that is that the district went from 47 percent Republican and 36 percent Democratic to exactly the opposite, 45 percent Democratic and 34 percent Republican".

The claims: Racial and partisan gerrymandering.

A number of Sixth District Republicans sued alleging the state legislature "targeted them for vote dilution due to their past support for Republican candidates for public office, violating the First Amendment retaliation doctrine".

Kennedy appeared unhappy with how Maryland Democrats manipulated the district's lines to give their party a 7-1 advantage in the state's congressional delegation.

In Pennsylvania's case, the state Supreme Court ordered a new map for this fall's election that levels the playing ground for congressional candidates. The time for the Supreme Court to address the problem is now. That case is still pending. This allowed Republicans to draw maps that were "voter proof", and would keep Republicans in power for the next decade, McGlone said.

Partisan breakdown: State House — 116 Republicans, 64 Democrats. "Indeed, both Democrats and Republicans have decried it when wielded by their opponents but nonetheless continue to gerrymander in their own self-interest when given the opportunity". State House — 63 Republicans, 46 Democrats, one vacancy. No one less significant than former President Barack Obama has blamed Democratic losses during his admininstration on "sharply gerrymandered districts that are very safely Republican".

Partisan breakdown: State Senate — 26 Republicans, seven Democrats, one independent, one vacancy. Amendments have to pass through the legislature in identical form in two consecutive sessions and then be approved by voters. "If you're the intelligent man on the street and the court issues a decision" and the Democrats win, he speculated, "the intelligent man on the street is going to say, 'It must be because the Supreme Court preferred the Democrats over the Republicans.'". Without it, she said, state legislative leaders can pressure their colleagues to vote certain ways by threatening to draw them out of their districts.

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