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Republican Supreme Court set to Hear Wisconsin Gerrymandering Case

in Democrats/Election/gerrymandering/Republican/Supreme Court/voter suppression by

The other day, while the orange buffoon was distracting us, many of us might have missed news that the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case concerning congressional and legislative maps. Keep following this story, cause it could have long lasting consequences for our country. As a result of Republican’s refusal to nominate Obama’s choice for a Supreme Court judge, we now have a Republican majority on the Supreme Court. Potentially, the ruling of this case could hand Republicans power for generations.

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It is called gerrymandering. This trick is intended to gain a political advantage for a party by moving around district boundaries. Gerrymandering could either decrease the voting power of one party or concentrate another party’s voting power in a district.

Take Columbus, Ohio, for example. The city is mostly democratic. However, it is divided into thirds, with each portion connected to largely conservative suburbs, Brookings.edu. Hence, although it is a heavily Democratic area, as a result of the gerrymandering, elections go to the Reds.

Even scarier is that gerrymandering is constitutional. In the 1986 case of Davis v. Bandemer, the Supreme Court declared an unconstitutional gerrymander, but the ruling did state “that political gerrymandering cases are properly justiciable under the Equal Protection Clause.” TheAtlantic article

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Gill v. Whitford, the case that the Supreme Court will review, concerns Wisconsin. Similar voting district cases are pending in North Carolina and Maryland. A common Republican trick is to use the racial makeup of a district to maximize Republican votes. This is called racial redistricting. Recently, the court has struck down districts in North Carolina, Virginia, and Alabama for trying to pull this off.

Wisconsin is a battleground state. Last year’s election in Wisconsin, was a virtual tie. However, Republicans have the state sliced up very beneficial, so that they gain an almost 2:1 advantage in the state Assembly.  USAToday article

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In three landmark cases from 1962, 1986 and 2004, the high court has retained a role for itself to review partisan gerrymandering but has never defined how much is too much. In the last case, four conservative justices sought to curtail that role by declaring it a political question outside their jurisdiction. But Justice Anthony Kennedy, 80, would not go that far; he may be the swing vote in the new case — if he doesn’t retire over the summer. USAToday article

 

 

 

 

 



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