Local

Supreme Court Grants Cert in Wisconsin Gerrymandering Case

Supreme Court Grants Cert in Wisconsin Gerrymandering Case”

The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would hear a case over whether partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional-a move that could spell disaster for Republican domination in the U.S. House of Representatives, governors' mansions, and state houses across America.

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision Monday morning to hear Gill v. Whitford is good news for the millions of Americans now being denied the right to elect representatives of their choosing due to partisan gerrymandering. Election law experts say the case is the best chance yet for the high court to put limits on what lawmakers may do to gain a partisan advantage in creating political district maps, according to the Associated Press.

"This is a historic opportunity to address one of the biggest problems facing our electoral system", said Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice. Oral arguments are scheduled at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 18, before the Kansas Supreme Court.

The panel, in a 2-1 vote, found the Republican-controlled legislature enacted a plan that dilutes the voting strength of Democratic voters statewide, impeding their ability to translate their votes into legislative seats - and no political geography of the state or other state interest explains the discriminatory effect.

Although federal courts have previously ruled against redrawing voter districts in a way that disadvantages racial minorities, this is the first-ever federal ruling that a single-member district plan was drawn illegally for partisan advantage.

The four more liberal justices, named to the court by Democrats, would have let the new line-drawing proceed even as the court considers the issue.

"Back in the 1960's the Supreme Court made the decision that every district has to be pretty much the same size, one person one vote".

"If they had only allowed the lower court ruling to stand, then this would only have applied to Wisconsin. When there's no opposition in elections that means that more extreme candidates win and I think the Supreme Court has agreed to hear this case because public opinion is really on the side of trying to do something about it". Last fall, the lower court ordered the Legislature to redraw its maps. Democratic voters are clustered in cities such as Milwaukee and Madison, while Republican voters are more evenly spread out.

Republicans have more to lose in next term's case because they control state legislatures in many more states than the Democrats do, and they stand to maximize that advantage again after the 2020 census.

Earlier this year, justices sided with Democrats and civil rights groups who challenged North Carolina maps, arguing that they unnecessarily packed African Americans into two districts.

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. Said another way, Republicans control 77 percent of the seats, despite winning just 53 percent of the vote.

The Wisconsin case comes as Texas is fighting legal challenges to its own legislative maps. But the day of reckoning for partisan gerrymandering is long past due.

The Wisconsin redistricting case may have some of the answers to Justice Kennedy's concerns about inserting the courts into reviewing partisan gerrymandering.

The commission oversees redistricting for both state legislative offices and congressional districts. Now it's being argued as a first amendment case, that this is a violation of people's free speech and that's a relatively new argument that might hold some sway with the Supreme Court.

The Republicans add that the party in power typically creates districts that favor that party, and say Democrats have done the same thing in the past.



Like this

loading...
loading...

Latest


26 June 2017
Some celebrations and statistics as Lionel Messi turns 30
Real Madrid reportedly tried to sign Lionel Messi from Barcelona past year but were rejected by the No 10 for the third time. We'd be surprised if Lionel Messi was dwelling on such trivial matters today, on the 30 anniversary of his birth.

26 June 2017
Chandan Prabhakar is back on 'The Kapil Sharma Show'
Chandan said that whatever transpired between him and Kapil Sharma took some time to settle. From the last few months, the TRP has been on the downslide, but now there is hope again.

26 June 2017
Lauren Jauregui : Fifth Harmony won't change their name
While Fifth Harmony isn't looking for another member, they've got quite a few applications to join the group - including one from Noah Cyrus .

26 June 2017
What happened inside President Trump's meeting with top tech CEOs
In May, Trump created an American Technology Council , his latest effort since taking office to modernize the USA government. It comes after some technology executives clashed with Trump over his decision to exit the Paris climate accord.

26 June 2017
Republican Sen. Johnson and Independent Sen
The bill proposes phasing out federal funding to states that had been used to expand the program under the Obama administration. An analysis from the Congressional Budget Office is due as soon as Monday and vote by the full Senate is planned for Thursday.

26 June 2017
Swaraj attacked Meira Kumar by posting a video
He further said Meira Kumar is the "daughter of Bihar" and he will try to convince Nitish to back her for the post. Nitish Kumar was received by RJD MP Jaiprakash Yadav, who escorted him to the hall where the Iftar was being held.

26 June 2017
Whole Foods shares keep rising in bidding war speculation
The Whole Foods chief said Amazon's technology will help the grocer transform from "class dunce" into "valedictorian". Some shoppers worry about the quality of their products and say they rather pick their pears themselves.

26 June 2017
Stephen Colbert Repeatedly Kicks Sean Spicer While He's Down, and Likely Out
Recently, his deputy press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been doing more and more press briefings . "I'm not hinting. I'll tell you about it over a very short period of time", Trump said at the time.

26 June 2017
Trump seeks support for controversial GOP health care bill
When Senate Republicans released their revision of the bill last week after writing it in secret, Obama thought the same thing. That's because unanimous opposition is expected from Democrats in a chamber in which Republicans hold a narrow 52-48 majority.

26 June 2017
Eating fish twice a week 'may ease' arthritis symptoms
Conventional wisdom dictates that regular doses of omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial for people with rheumatoid arthritis . A blood marker showed that RA disease activity was also lower in frequent fish consumers.