Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
USA | By Kelli Rowe

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A federal appeals court panel struck down the map as so lopsidedly partisan that it violated the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection of the law.

Packing many Democrats into a single district, for instance, wastes every Democratic vote beyond the bare majority needed to elect a Democratic candidate.

"Partisan gerrymandering of this kind is worse now than at any time in recent memory". Yet Democrats are more supportive of having courts rein in extreme districting plans, mainly because Republicans control more legislatures and drew districts after the 2010 census that enhanced their advantage in those states and in the House of Representatives.

If the Court took the very unlikely but possible step of setting a standard to overturn partisan gerrymanders, then the implications and ramifications would be far reaching since numerous states now have partisan gerrymanders similar to Wisconsin's.

North Carolina's electoral map was rejected by the Supreme Court recently for illegally using race in an effort to create more GOP-leaning districts.

It's the high court's first case on what's known as partisan gerrymandering in more than a decade, and the outcome could affect elections across the country.

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The justices issued their order Monday about 90 minutes after they agreed to hear the Wisconsin case in the fall, the first case on partisan politics and redistricting in more than a decade.

Twelve Republican-dominated states are supporting Wisconsin in its defense of the 2011 redistricting plan.

"The decision in this case will likely set the path for redistricting in 2020 and beyond".

But the fifth and decisive vote was cast by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who left the door open to revisiting the issue if a manageable test could be found for evaluating how much is too much partisanship. Dissenting was U.S. Chief Judge William Griesbach of Milwaukee.

A three-judge court struck down the districts as an illegal partisan gerrymander and ordered new ones to be put in place for the 2018 elections.

A Supreme Court ruling faulting the Wisconsin redistricting plan could have far-reaching consequences for the redrawing of electoral districts due after the 2020 USA census.

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"The metric that they came up with they called the efficiency gap, and it measures what they call wasted votes".

After adoption of the map, Republicans secured a 60-39 seat advantage in the Wisconsin State Assembly, while getting just 48.6 percent of the statewide vote.

Trevor Potter, president of the Campaign Legal Center, who has worked on behalf of Republican candidates such as U.S. Sen.

Both parties have tried to get the largest partisan edge when they control redistricting. "The effect of this is a serious problem for our democracy".

"In 2004, a four-member Supreme Court plurality all but ruled out challenges to even extreme partisan gerrymanders, while four members of the court would have allowed some limited challenges".

"That's a message to other states that they also need to prevent partisanship from going too far", Burden said.

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