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Supreme Court Will Hear Wisconsin Partisan Gerrymandering Case

21 Juin 2017

But the dozen plaintiffs - voters - said the evidence laid out in a trial in the Wisconsin case showed that "Republican legislative leaders authorized a secretive and exclusionary mapmaking process aimed at securing for their party a large advantage that would persist no matter what happened in future elections". Also on Monday afternoon, shortly before the court issue was ordered, LEA and Lawrence district representatives agreed to tentatively meet again at 4:30 p.m. July 17 and July 31.

The Supreme Court announced Monday that it would consider whether partisan gerrymandering violates the Constitution. "I am pleased that the Court granted our request on this important issue".

Because of a series of Supreme Court cases, especially one from Pennsylvania in 2004, courts have been impotent to stop this practice thus far.

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.

The court is likely to be closely divided when it hears arguments next fall.

Congressional districts are redrawn by state legislatures. He says Democrats proved in court that their rights were violated and "now this story will be told on a national stage".

In the meantime, state lawmakers have used political affiliation as a way to draw electoral maps, and an increasing chorus of political groups blames partisan gerrymandering for a growing divide in Congress and state legislatures.

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The case involves the state of Wisconsin, where ruling Republicans have been accused of taking partisan measures to redraw boundaries in their favor, but the court decision could have implications for the rest of the United States. In Wisconsin, the Republicans were in charge so they tried to pack as many Democrats as they could into the fewest number of districts. A lower court struck down the districts as unconstitutional a year ago.

"Partisan gerrymandering of this kind is worse now than at any time in recent memory", said Paul Smith, a lawyer for the voters who challenged the map.

Some suggest the most extreme examples of partisan gerrymandering can be found in states like MI, where Republicans have maintained majorities in the congressional delegation and the state legislature even though Democrats tend to win more votes. "They simply haven't done it", says Josh Blackman, who teaches constitutional law at South Texas College of Law Houston.

The ruling stated there was no question that "the map was created to make it more hard for Democrats, compared to Republicans, to translate their votes into seats".

In the election following adoption of the new maps, Wisconsin Republicans got just 48.6 percent of the statewide vote, but captured a 60-to-39 seat advantage in the State Assembly.

In a subsequent ruling, the lower court ordered that the Legislature must have a new redistricting plan in place by November 1, 2017, for the 2018 general election. "They've passed state laws to rig legislative district lines and erect barriers to the ballot box for people they don't think will vote for them". In 2014, the party garnered 52 percent of the vote and 63 state Assembly seats. Voters have a right to expect fair and competitive elections.