Gerrymandering cases disposed on technicalities

Supreme Court decides not to decide on constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering

Supreme Court puts off weighing in on partisan gerrymandering

The court ruled that with the midterm US elections looming in November, there would not be enough time to draw new maps and the plaintiffs could not show they would be irreparably harmed if the existing maps were used.

In closely divided states like New Hampshire and North Dakota - where U.S. Senate races can be decided by only a few hundred votes - Republican lawmakers have passed voter restrictions that make it harder for Democratic populations to cast ballots.

"Partisan gerrymandering is distorting and undermining our representative democracy, giving politicians the power to choose their voters, instead of giving voters the power to choose their politicians", he said.

President of the League of Women Voters of the United States Chris Carson echoed Ho's comments in a statement he gave to The Washington Post, saying the court decisions were just "another delay" in ensuring voters retain their power in USA democracy.

Just last week in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, the Supreme Court upheld Ohio's policies of purging voters from the rolls after not participating in three federal elections (and not responding to official notices mailed to their homes).

In the Maryland case, Benisek v. Lamone, the court issued a temporary ruling reaffirming the lower court's decision. Despite the lack of a substantive ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts took the opportunity to author a unanimous opinion outlining where the court stands on the question of gerrymandering. The next one likely to be heard by the Supreme Court is the notorious North Carolina gerrymander.

The Wisconsin case created the possibility that the Supreme Court would change the rules of the game.

With the support of Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer, Justice Elena Kagan issued a concurring opinion that outlined something of a roadmap for how to build tighter cases around partisan gerrymandering going forward.

She said courts must find their footing to stop a partisan process that is "degrading the nation's democracy", and that map-drawing software only makes it easier to draw precise lines.

Not long ago, it looked like the days of extreme partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin might be numbered.

Conservative Columnist and TV Commentator Charles Krauthammer Passes Away
Charles Krauthammer was honored Thursday night at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. after news of his death broke. Despite the death sentence doctors gave him, he still wrote in his letter , "It was a wonderful life".

Gerrymandering is a bipartisan tradition - Ds do it to the Rs when they have the chance and vice versa. "The technology will only get better, so the 2020 cycle will only get worse". Meanwhile, though, the North Carolina case has plaintiffs from each of the 13 congressional districts, potentially overcoming the process problem that stalled the Wisconsin case.

"This case was filed in 2015".

A lower court has ruled that North Carolina's congressional map is unconstitutional because it disproportionately favors Republicans.

Whether Democrats found themselves "packed" into districts that overwhelmingly went blue or efficiently sprinkled throughout reliably red seats, the end result was the same.

The judges said Republicans crammed Democrats into some districts and spread them out thinly across others as a way to create more districts conducive to a GOP candidate.

Roberts responded that cracking and packing must be analyzed at the district level. But there's only one way to ensure that what happened to Democrats in 2011-2018 doesn't happen again for the next decade: Win governorships and state legislative seats by the bushel-full this fall. To recap, the state went Republican for the first time since 1984, and Hillary Clinton caught heat for not campaigning in Wisconsin at all during the general election. The statewide gap in Wisconsin, they said, was especially high. A case challenging that battleground state's congressional districts appears to offer stronger evidence of harm.

The court has yet to come up with a standard to evaluate whether a district is gerrymandered politically speaking, where one party is given an advantage over another.

At oral argument, Roberts had criticized a test the challengers proposed for deciding when districts had been unfairly gerrymandered as "sociological gobbledygook". You must build a pipeline of leaders for the party, a grassroots army of community members ready to step up and run for office for the first time. It is also the goal of the Republicans who brought suit the Maryland suit drawn by Republicans that drew a popular Republican Congressman into an unwinnable district.

That's frustrating for William Whitford, a Democrat and the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. Nevertheless, the plaintiffs in the Wisconsin case, she maintains in her opinion, failed to sufficiently substantiate their claims.

O'Malley now says he believes redistricting should be done by an independent commission rather than by legislators. They agreed that plaintiff Democrats lacked standing.

Latest News