Published: Fri, October 06, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Gerrymandering Is An Issue For Elected Officials, Not The Supreme Court

Gerrymandering Is An Issue For Elected Officials, Not The Supreme Court

Some believe Pennsylvania needs to address the way congressional districts are drawn in the state before the 2018 Election, while others want to take a wait and see approach to follow the Supreme Court's lead. "First Amendment concerns arise where a state enacts a law that has the goal and effect of subjecting a group of voters or their party to disfavored treatment by reason of their views". "And this is really the last opportunity" to act before the next round of redistricting following the census of 2020.

The court said this as it referred to a Constitution Bench the question about the extent of restraint a person holding a public office, including a Minister, can be put under while commenting on sub judice matters or those under investigation by state agencies.

On 1): My column didn't say that the efficiency gap was the only factor that the courts were being asked to look at. In most states, the legislature controls redistricting.

Kennedy, who has been the swing vote on a wide variety of SCOTUS rulings, staked out a novel approach in this week's High Court argument over how politicians draw legislative lines to favor themselves, focusing the partisan issue on voters' right to associate instead of the traditional "one-man, one-vote" argument that the liberal wing of the court favors. Which is why court watchers are paying close attention to Kennedy this time around - it's likely his vote will decide the case. Plaintiffs Wisconsin voter Helen Harris (left) and William Whitford, a University of Wisconsin law professor, speak to reporters.

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Gov. Gerry signed legislation in 1812 that redistricted the Bay State to benefit his Democratic-Republican Party.

Gerrymandering is hardly new: the name dates back to an unwieldy district created in 1812 by Elbridge Gerry, then governor of MA.

The top court had taken note of a controversial statement of ex-Uttar Pradesh Minister Azam Khan that the Bulandshahr gangrape was part of a "political conspiracy".

In recent years, as computer technology has enabled parties to draw lines more precisely to maximize their advantage, discontent with the practice has increased. "It is time to terminate gerrymandering", Republican former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the star of the "Terminator" movies, told a rally outside the courthouse. Democrats tend to do better in presidential election years, and they could score big wins in the closely divided states.

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"Gerrymandering is distasteful", conservative Justice Samuel Alito said.

But in the mind of Chief Justice John Roberts, there are other concerns, which he detailed in explaining why the highest court ought not to get involved. It also devalues the vote of voters who already reside in districts that were gerrymandered to destroy the democratic efficacy of voting in those districts, which were altered to achieve an outcome predetermined by the gerrymandering party. The lower court sided with the couple, asserting that the case represented a straightforward instance of a business discriminating against gay people, which is prohibited under Colorado law. "And that is going to cause very serious harm to the status and integrity of the decisions of this Court in the eyes of the country".

Does the Court now have the tools to ascertain a party gerrymander that Justice Kennedy said was needed to outlaw partisan gerrymandering?

In gerrymandering cases the offending party switches voters, often black and Hispanic voters, from one district to another to gain partisan advantage.

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While the Supreme Court has a standard limiting the overreliance on race in map drawing except under the most limited circumstances, it has never been successful in developing a test concerning an overreliance on politics.

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