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Justices could consider fight over electoral maps

Justices could consider fight over electoral maps

In its modern form, it is sometimes blamed for the deep partisan polarization of Congress and other legislative bodies, because modern computer science and detailed census data makes it so much easier for those in charge of drawing new maps to place individual voters into districts to make them decidedly Republican or Democratic so as to achieve unequal electoral power.

The ruling on this case could be a landmark in the argument against political gerrymandering nationwide.

The stay prevents implementation of a ruling by a three-judge panel, which would have required the Wisconsin Legislature to redraw district maps in time for the 2018 elections.

The challengers in the Wisconsin case argued that the state's electoral map was carefully drawn so that the GOP was virtually guaranteed to control the Legislature for the entire decade.

Democratic state senate minority leader Jennifer Shilling said, "Republican efforts to suppress voters, restrict voting rights and rig elections through gerrymandered maps have already been ruled unconstitutional by multiple courts.Democrats will continue to champion non-partisan redistricting reform to empower citizens and restore fairness to our election process".

The justices will hear the case in the fall.

A decision to uphold the ruling, on the other hand, would send courts across the U.S. head-first into a legal thicket, where they would be asked to glean legislative intent in district-drawing and pore over electoral maps and data to discern evidence of imbalance.

The Supreme Court has never struck down a state redistricting plan on the basis of a partisan gerrymander. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton - all played a role in the state's last round of redistricting, but none had weighed in on the U.S Supreme Court's announcement as of midday Monday.

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The Supreme Court has officially agreed to hear a case with the potential to put firm limits on partisan gerrymandering - and dramatically change the way states draw legislative boundaries.

In a 2-1 ruling, the court found that the districts were drawn in order to minimize the influence of Democratic votes, and were "designed to make it more hard for Democrats, compared to Republicans, to translate their votes into seats", the majority opinion concluded. He says Democrats proved in court that their rights were violated and "now this story will be told on a national stage". The four liberals would have let it proceed.

A lawmaker looks at legislative redistricting maps.

They urged the court to overturn the lower-court ruling and throw out the claim on the grounds that redistricting is a political process, not a legal one. "In this case, a lower court held that Wisconsin had indeed crossed that line". The Court's order provides that "further consideration of the question of jurisdiction is postponed to the hearing of the case on the merits", suggesting that numerous Court's members think that federal courts do not have the power to hear gerrymandering cases.

If the Legislature is forced to draw new maps, they'd have to be more competitive, which would give Democrats a better shot at winning legislative seats than they have right now. That work is proceeding. I mean, yes, it's true that the party in power wins, and they get to do their policy and so on, but when it comes to who wins, in a democracy we think that people should have their say. And so a majority of the Supreme Court has always concluded that they can't figure out a way to do it without themselves making a political judgment about how much is too much.

Registered Democratic voters in Wisconsin mounted a lawsuit alleging that GOP lawmakers had redrawn their districts to disproportionately favor Republican candidates.

A gerrymander, scholars Nicholas Stephanopoulos and Eric McGhee, who devised the formula at the heart of Whitford, explain "is simply a district plan that results in one party wasting many more votes than its adversary".

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