Supreme Court to review partisan redistricting

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A three-judge court struck down the districts as an illegal partisan gerrymander and ordered new ones to be put in place for the 2018 elections.

The issue has torn the court for decades. The court also announced it will hear arguments in the case brought by Democrats challenging the constitutionality of the existing maps.

Last November, a federal district court ruled that Republicans' 2011 gerrymandering effort in Wisconsin crossed a line and was unconstitutional. It is high time for the High Court to stop politicians from drawing district lines for their own political benefit. The Supreme Court will now consider that decision.

The case in the short term could affect congressional maps in about half a dozen states and legislative maps in about 10 states, and then have major implications for the next round of redistricting after the 2020 census, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law. The four liberals would have let it proceed. If your argument is the maps are unfair, it should only happen once.

The last time the Supreme Court looked at a challenge to partisan redistricting, the justices tied themselves in knots trying to resolve the case, ending with a muddled decision that didn't answer the basic question.

HARRISBURG - Standing in the rotunda of the state Capitol Thursday afternoon, Robert Smith, a Luzerne County resident, said that before the 20...

Tell us what you'd like to know more about on Facebook and Twitter. In our stay application, I argued that requiring the Legislature to re-draw district maps this year would have been a waste of resources. They say the federal court overstepped its bounds and judges should stay out of an inherently political exercise. As Yale Law School dean Heather Gerken noted in a Vox piece following the initial district court decision, a gap above that amount indicates that the disadvantaged party "would have nearly no chance of taking control of the legislature during the 10-year districting cycle".

Enter the Wisconsin case.

"Correct", responded Marc Elias, who was general counsel for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.

"We're confident that when the justices see how pervasive and damaging this practice has become, the Supreme Court will adopt a clear legal standard that will ensure our democracy functions as it should", Potter added.

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"In this case, what the plaintiffs have effectively asked the court to do is gerrymander in favor or competitiveness, that is, to draw maps that compensate for the natural disadvantage the Democrats might have because their voters are more geographically concentrated". If the state wins, there'll be no need for new districts. In addition, Republican legislative leaders hired a pair of law firms to represent them before the Supreme Court.

In a statement released Monday, Wisconsin's Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel said the state's redistricting was constitutional.

In my most recent column, I expressed concern about the effectiveness of the constitutional decision rules that now govern gerrymandering - the redrawing of electoral districts in a manner that favors the incumbent majority at the expense of those out of power.

Cooper spokesman Ford Porter said the Republican legislature is thumbing its nose at the state Constitution as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.

While courts have overturned legislative district maps based on racial discrimination, judges have shied away from striking down districts drawn to maximize a party's political power. That weakened African-American voting strength elsewhere in the state, the court said.

HARRISBURG - The time may be ripe for the Legislature to take a crack at fixing the way districts for lawmakers are defined, said Carol Kuniho... Thus, one way to gain partisan advantage in racially diverse states is to dilute the voting power of racial groups who tend to vote for the other party.

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

Similar lawsuits are pending in Maryland, where Democrats dominate, and North Carolina, where Republicans have a huge edge in the congressional delegation and the state legislature.

Republicans control the U.S. Congress. These refer to packing like-minded voters, such as supporters of the same party, into a limited number of districts or cracking their influence by scattering them across districts in numbers too small to make an impact. But if it upholds the lower court, it will be a landmark decision.

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