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Justices take on fight over partisan electoral maps

Justices take on fight over partisan electoral maps”

"The essential question is whether the court will finally accept a new standard and block partisan gerrymandering, or continue the court's stated disapproval of excessive partisan gerrymandering while never finding one to overrule", League of Women Voters president Chris Carson said.

The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would hear a case over whether partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional-a move that could spell disaster for Republican domination in the U.S. House of Representatives, governors' mansions, and state houses across America.

He said: "I am thrilled the Supreme Court has granted our request to review the redistricting decision and that Wisconsin will have an opportunity to defend its redistricting process".

The Wisconsin case involves the state legislature.

"Wisconsin Republicans rigged the electoral map so profoundly that two federal courts have ruled it unconstitutional saying the Republican effort "intended to burden the representational rights of Democratic voters.by impeding their ability to translate their votes into legislative seats".

A federal court ruled in Wisconsin that Republican lawmakers had violated the US Constitution's equal protection under the law and free speech clauses. Justices also put on hold an earlier ruling requiring that new maps be drawn by November.

Schimel had asked the Supreme Court to delay the drawing of new boundaries until after the court rules on the merits of the case, arguing that drawing new maps would be a waste of resources. When the Supreme Court issues its ruling, it will be the first time a court has decided the key parameters around the drawing of district lines based on partisanship. State and federal legislative district boundaries are reconfigured every decade after the census so that each one holds about same number of people, but are sometimes draw in a way that packs voters who tend to favor a particular party into certain districts so as to diminish their statewide voting power.

In a statement released Monday, Wisconsin's Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel said the state's redistricting was constitutional.

"We are encouraged by the decision by the Supreme Court to hear Wisconsin's appeal of Gill v. Whitford and grant a stay of the lower court's order".

It was statistical measurement of how many votes in each party were wasted, either because they were so diluted in a district they could never achieve a majority or because they were so concentrated in a district that they were in excess of what was needed to get a majority.

"What we're seeing is where possible the party in power is taking unfair advantage of their official position to benefit their parties and ensure that the will of the voters is not carried out", Potter said. If the state loses the case, Texas could find itself with new political maps ahead of the 2018 elections.

In a 2004 case, Justice Kennedy joined with a conservative plurality in rejecting a claim of unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering. Though a "workable standard" defining it did not exist, he suggested one might emerge in a future case. North Carolina's congressional delegation tilts 10-3 Republican.

He went on to say once you leave the state's metropolitan areas, it's more competitive across the state.

Republicans aggressively gerrymandered Wisconsin after they gained unified control of state government in the 2010 midterm wave. It compares the total number of votes cast for the Legislature statewide to the total number of seats a party wins. In 2014, the party garnered 52 percent of the vote and 63 state Assembly seats. John McCain in the past, said partisan gerrymandering is practiced by both parties, thanks to computer software that makes selecting voters for district maps much easier than in the past.

Critics have argued the current legislative maps unfairly stack the deck for Republicans district by district, pointing to the 2016 presidential election results as an example.



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