Supreme Court hears gerrymandering case stemming out of Wisconsin

Supreme Court

Which is why court watchers are paying close attention to Kennedy this time around - it's likely his vote will decide the case.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, in his first full term on the bench, was silent during an otherwise lively argument Monday in which the justices seemed closely divided.

The Supreme Court will not decide, at this point, who is right about whether the two versions differ or whether either one is invalid under immigration law or the Constitution. Voting against outlawing gerrymandering in Davis or Vieth, where evidence was less compelling and the standards for resolving gerrymandering were less obvious, could be ascribed to caution on the part of the justices. The Wisconsin district map is a similarly audacious piece of engineering.

On Tuesday the court heard arguments in a case that could influence American politics for decades, particularly in N.C. They are taking up a fight over electoral maps drawn by Wisconsin Republicans that a lower court ruled were created to entrench themselves in power.

"End Gerrymandering Now!" reads the sign held by Joanne Kim of Washington, D.C. Protesters gathered outside the U.S. Supreme Court building on October 3. The precious right to vote, if you can stack a legislature in this way, what incentive is there for a voter to exercise his vote? Sotomayor asked how political gerrymander "helps our system of government".

In recent years, as computer technology has enabled parties to draw lines more precisely to maximize their advantage, discontent with the practice has increased.

While most Americans familiar with the episode probably see it as another step in Ginsburg's cultural apotheosis to be enjoyed briefly on Buzzfeed, her argument is one that has hounded the court for decades.

He said the "main problem" for him was that if the court stepped in, other claims from across the country, "every one", would come to the court. Tuesday's arguments will illustrate why Wisconsin warns about a "social science hodgepodge". He narrowed in on the threshold issue of standing, saying he thought it was "arresting" that the challengers could bring a statewide challenge instead of district-by-district.

"Is this the time for us to jump into this?" he wondered. This iss despite the fact that the employers' side consistently failed to address a key problem: the rules of the forum that they said everyone has to follow are not made by some neutral third party. But the majority of the most obnoxiously gerrymandered states - including Wisconsin, where the case of Gill v. Whitford originated - are controlled by Republicans.

Lets hope historians must never write about the GOP Roberts court on matters fundamental to our democratic freedoms.

Kennedy was undeterred: "I'd like an answer to the question".

Many attorneys representing businesses say that resolving workplace disputes through arbitration with individual employees is a speedy and cost-effective alternative to class-action litigation.

The case concerns Wisconsin's electoral map, but the decision, which is expected long before the end of the court's term in June, will have long-lasting implications across the land. But Kennedy was unwilling to bar all such future claims because he thought a workable standard to measure when there is an overreliance on politics might arise down the road.

Under the state's current maps, Texas Republicans hold 3.2 more congressional seats than they would under "fair" maps, according to research by three political scientists - Mark Jones of Rice University's Baker Institute and Renée Cross and Jim Granato of the University of Houston's Hobby School of Public Affairs. At the heart of the issue is whether the common techniques of "cracking and packing" - diluting an opposing party's clout by either spreading its supporters out to prevent a majority on the district level (cracking) or concentrating them in fewer districts (packing) - has a discriminatory effect. A straightforward way to make redistricting fairer is to enforce compactness along with the equal population rule.

Former President Barack Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder have both taken up the cause.

Depending on the remedy that the court requires, the reverberations could be significant for redistricting after the 2020 census.

But the issue is not just one for Democrats. He said little during Tuesday's argument to indicate how he would vote.

A similar case is brewing in Maryland, but it was brought by Republicans.

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