huffingtonpost.com - 65 days ago
Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Case Which Could Be Monumental Gerrymandering Decision
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case out of Wisconsin that could be a landmark in determining whether or not Republicans or Democrats have drawn their state’s electoral districts in a way that gives their candidates an unconstitutional advantage.
The case, Gill v. Whitford, comes to the court after a panel of three federal judges ruled 2-1 last year state lawmakers unconstitutionally drew the boundaries of state Assembly district lines to benefit Republicans in 2011. While the Supreme Court has written critically of partisan gerrymandering in the past, it has never struck down a gerrymander on partisan grounds and has yet to establish a standard to determine when they are permissible and when they are not. Though, the Supreme Court has struck down district maps recently of states that it said had gone too far in using race to draw district lines. This new case could allow the justices to provide some clarity and have a dramatic impact on the way states draw new district lines following the 2020 Census. “The court has had problems in figuring out how to deal with this, depending on how you count it, 13 years or 30 years or 60 years or forever,” said Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola Law School who served as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s civil rights division during the Obama administration. “The court has never had a clear approach to partisan gerrymandering once it decided to start hearing these cases at all.” Controlling both the governor’s mansion and the state legislature in 2011, Wisconsin Republican lawmakers used extremely precise technology to draw electoral maps in secret that benefitted their party.
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