Top court to hear case that could reshape US political map

Top court to hear case that could reshape US political map”

The Supreme Court said Monday it will decide whether Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin drew electoral districts so out of whack with the state's political breakdown that they violated the constitutional rights of Democratic voters. The court today sided in a 7-1 decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts with a Georgia inmate on death row in his appeal to the court citing efforts by prosecutors to exclude African Americans from a jury panel in the murder case.

In the election following adoption of the new maps, Wisconsin Republicans got just 48.6 percent of the statewide vote, but captured a 60-to-39 seat advantage in the State Assembly.

"Partisan gerrymandering of this kind is worse now than at any time in recent memory".

Walker said in the end, he believes the the plan will be upheld by the US Supreme Court. A ruling will come sometime between late 2017 and June 2018. Kennedy, writing in a 2004 case, indicated he may be open to the idea that racial gerrymanders could violate the Constitution.

The Supreme Court recently waded into the redistricting wars in 2016 with a Texas case, Evenwel v. Abbott.

Who and how do you think voting districts should be drawn? In addition, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, chaired by former Attorney General Eric Holder and Clinton campaign alum Marc Elias promises "a comprehensive, multi-cycle Democratic Party redistricting strategy over the next 5 years and beyond". The process of redistricting relies on "wasted votes", a process pointed out by a law professor of the University of Chicago and a lawyer for the challengers.

But those who brought the case said they believed they still had a strong chance of winning. This would be an unprecedented move for the Supreme Court, which has never denounced a legislative map based on partisanship.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty's Rick Esenberg agrees.

Schimel said in a statement that he's "thrilled" the Supreme Court has taken the case. U.S. Rep. Donald McEachin, a Henrico Democrat, was elected in the redrawn 4th District, changing the state delegation from eight Republicans and three Democrats to seven Republicans and four Democrats. It also creates a new per-pupil funding formula for the state's 286 local school districts to provide more funds to programs for low-performing students.

"The state bears the burden of establishing that compliance", the justices said in a scheduling order.

And it gives the court an opportunity to formally determine a metric on what constitutes unlawful gerrymandering, which could have major implications for the way voting districts are drawn in other states.

The term gerrymander was introduced by the MA governor in 1812 when he signed into law the means to create a voting district in the shape of a salamander in order to help the electoral prospects of his political party.

The Democrats say that the 2011 plan was drawn specifically to disenfranchise Democratic voters.

Gerrymandering is often utilized by Republicans, whose voters tend to be in more spread out rural areas than Democrats who tend to collect in cities. "The effect of this is a serious problem for our democracy". But Justice Anthony Kennedy, 80, would not go that far; he may be the swing vote in the new case - if he doesn't retire over the summer.

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