SCOTUS begins hearing arguments on potentially crucial gerrymandering case

  • SCOTUS begins hearing arguments on potentially crucial gerrymandering case

SCOTUS begins hearing arguments on potentially crucial gerrymandering case

This probably contributes more to polarisation than gerrymandering does.

The Administration countered that the President did not change the policy to avoid a ruling on its legality, but did so to replace only temporary measures that have now expired or soon will; the expirations will make the pending cases "moot" - legally dead, according to the government filing. Following the 2010 Census, the Wisconsin Legislature - controlled by Republicans - drew new district lines as required by the Constitution.

For example, the 7th Congressional District - which some say looks like Goofy kicking Donald Duck in the backside - was redrawn by Republicans in Harrisburg to include seven heavily Republican municipalities in eastern Lancaster County that were previously in the 16th District.

Keeping the offences such as financial and economic fraud equal to other serious offences such as rape and murder, the bench held that the accused couldn't be let off after a settlement between the two parties as they create an incision in the "economic spine of the country". He told a Wisconsin state lawyer that he thought extreme partisan gerrymanders could by challenged on First Amendment grounds because they deny voters in the disfavored party a right to have their views represented.

But for the gerrymandering, the efficiency gap study suggests, the partisan split here would be 10 Republicans and eight Democrats. Unlike previous maps that have been challenged as too partisan (such as Pennsylvania's congressional map last decade and Indiana's legislative map three decades ago), the maps in this Wisconsin case don't rely on freaky shapes. They argued that this principle applies even if those rules require workers to proceed individually. Which is why court watchers are paying close attention to Kennedy this time around - it's likely his vote will decide the case. None of the standards offered avoided "substantial intrusion into the nation's political life", he wrote in a concurrence. It's called gerrymandering, and these days it can be done with computer-aided precision.

The plaintiffs claim that day has arrived.

Partisan gerrymandering - molding electoral maps to give the majority party an edge over opponents - has always been a fact of American political life, but the practice faces a U.S. Supreme Court challenge next week. At issue is "partisan symmetry"-the intuitive notion that political parties should derive roughly the same legislative representation from equivalent popular support". The formula devised by the plantiffs in Gill involves not just a consideration of voting history but a mathematical calculation of the "efficiency gap" caused by so-called wasted votes. In practice, this could mean the legislators wouldn't compromise and the GOP would win an endless series of three to two votes. Plaintiffs will argue that an "efficiency gap" (the difference between all the loser's votes and the surplus of votes in excess of those the victor needed for victory divided by the total number of votes cast) that exceeds 7 percent - a figure plucked from the ether - is presumptively unconstitutional. "Their party has been punished by the law of the state of Wisconsin", Smith said. However, under the court-devised plan in the previous decade, in five elections the Republicans won an average of 55.2 seats with an average of 49.1 percent of the statewide vote.

The conservative judges seemed unimpressed. Roberts turned down a request for live audio of the argument.

Justice Samuel A. Alito agreed.

Nonetheless, the arguments of the management-side attorneys appeared to gain traction with conservative Justices. Mr Kennedy did not join his colleagues' attack on the social sciences. At one point, he asked one of them to imagine that a state passed a law saying its election maps will always "favor party X or party Y. Is that constitutional?" he asked. However, Supreme Court decision has held the ruling. And the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which protects believers against such incidental burdens, doesn't apply to state laws - because of a 1997 decision by Kennedy himself.

The opposing sides in the historic controversy over President Trump's limits on foreign travelers' entry into the US handed the Supreme Court on Thursday a hard new question: will the defeats the Administration already suffered in this fight in lower courts remain, or be wiped off the books?