Published: Sat, June 23, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Pa. congressional map unaffected by US Supreme Court decision

Pa. congressional map unaffected by US Supreme Court decision

While the decisions in these cases do little to resolve partisan gerrymandering, gerrymandering plaintiffs still face the prospect that as the liberal justices draw closer to retirement, their shot at ending gerrymandering in the Supreme Court begins to diminish. Fortunately, it leaves the door open for future litigation and a more favorable judgment. I am pleased that the current maps remain intact for 2018, allowing voters to have certainty going into the fall elections. The court's ruling, he said, was set forth in his opinion "and none other".

"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. Earlier this year the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down that state's egregious gerrymander under the state constitutional mandate that all elections in the state must be "free and equal".

Monday's Supreme Court decision on how much politics can be involved in the decennial process of redrawing district lines across the country might not, at first glance, seem like much.

"We now have the opportunity to demonstrate the real and concrete harms that result from partisan gerrymandering in the lower court, the same court that struck down the Wisconsin mapping scheme to begin with", Smith noted.

The court declined to touch the merits of the two cases under consideration and instead rejected them for procedural reasons.1 That means extreme partisan gerrymandering will end the day the way it began: in legal purgatory. Gill holds that, when individual voters bring such a claim, "the remedy that is proper and sufficient lies in the revision of the boundaries of the individual's own district". Indeed, Justice Elena Kagan's concurring opinion in the Wisconsin case, joined by three other members of the Court, gave plaintiffs specific guidance on how to craft their claims to comply with the Court's new standard. "The Supreme Court left a lot of room and basically said, nearly straight out, that if you can prove some harm occurred, some broader harm occurred, then bring this back and perhaps we'll move forward with it", says David Helpap, UW-Green Bay Associated Professor of Political Science.

Partisan gerrymanders have "become ever more extreme and durable, insulating officeholders against all but the most titanic shifts in the political tides", she wrote.

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Kagan added that courts have an important role to play given the harm caused by gerrymandering. The outcome might have been different, Whitford suggested, if state assembly districts had been drawn more fairly and legislators were under more pressure to compromise across the aisle.

"While it's disappointing to see the court punt, the decisions aren't losses". 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. In an unsigned opinion, the court also did not side with Maryland Republicans contesting a single congressional district, which the court also tweeted about. Using his map, let's show the two bad options and the solution that should be advanced as a follow-up to a FixIt America solution of siding with the people over overt partisan politics and incumbent protection that kills our democratic republic.

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.

Using Nate's Democratic program, the Democrats could draw districts that - even in a year in which voters shifted Republican and all swing districts went Republican - would leave Democrats likely to win 263 districts, thus holding Congress by an nearly as wonderful 45 seats than they needed. But Roberts says that's not justiciable. Chief Justice John Roberts, with unanimous support, found that the plaintiffs in the Wisconsin case had not proven they had been harmed by gerrymandering, and thus lacked standing. The court said the plaintiffs there had not proved they had suffered the sort of direct injury that would give them standing to sue.

Monday, he was more restrained, saying the problem with the test is that it measures the effect a gerrymander has on the fortunes of political parties, not individual voters. Much of that opinion rests on the Court's belief that the Benisek plaintiffs waited too long to pursue their claim - at least if they wanted a court decision enjoining the Maryland gerrymander before the district court had a chance to conduct a full trial.

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