The Supreme Court Has a Chance to Restore Democracy to Redistricting

We are pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear what potentially could be the most consequential partisan gerrymandering case in years. Courts have rejected district election maps on grounds they were drawn outlandishly to disadvantage minority voters. However, the court has never turned down a map drawn to give an advantage to a political party. That's what makes this case so consequential. Political parties routinely draw maps that either concentrate or dilute the other party's voters to create safe districts for their own incumbents. The court should take this opportunity to end this practice.The case before the court is Gill v. Whitford, which grew out of election results in 2010 that gave Republicans control of Wisconsin's government. GOP lawmakers immediately drew a map for the state assembly that helped Republicans turn razor close statewide vote totals into lopsided legislative majorities.Since then, a three-judge federal district court panel ruled that Republicans overstepped, concluding that the map "was designed to make it more difficult for Democrats, compared to Republicans, to translate their votes into seats." The district court agreed with the challengers that the map was drawn for partisan reasons and resulted in "wasted votes."   Continue reading...

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