Supreme Court to hear partisan gerrymandering case

Sometimes, modern politicians openly admit that they have create redistricting plans that favor their party, because such gerrymandering has never been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court so those politicians have no reluctance to set their partisan goals and achieve them.

Last year, a three-judge federal court broke new ground when it ruled the map was unconstitutional because its "motivating factor" was an "intent to entrench a political party in power".

The way America conducts its elections could soon be upended by a landmark Supreme Court case.

"Partisan gerrymandering of this kind is worse now than at any time in recent memory", said Paul Smith, vice president of litigation and strategy at the center, in a statement.

The Supreme Court agrees to take on accusations of gerrymandering in Wisconsin.

The Supreme Court has been reluctant to tackle partisan gerrymandering and sort through arguments about whether an electoral system is rigged or, instead, a party's political advantage is due to changing attitudes and demographics, as Wisconsin Republicans contend.

The situation is similar in Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, where lines drawn by Republicans have given the GOP the lion's share of the seats in Congress and state legislatures. As a result, CNN analyst and law professor Steve Vladeck adds this case could have "enormous ramifications" for the practice of redistricting - not just in Wisconsin, but in all 50 states.

The issue has torn the court for decades.

Registered Democratic voters in Wisconsin, who challenged the plan, claimed Republicans employed two gerrymandering techniques in drawing the new districts called "cracking" and "packing".

The Wisconsin case involves the state legislature. The district's representative, Republican Henry Bonilla, ended up losing to Democrat Ciro Rodriguez in an election after the district's lines were redrawn. Denniston has written for us as a contributor since June 2011 and has covered the Supreme Court since 1958.

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"We've already had two federal courts declare the map unconstitutional in part or whole", said Sachin Chheda, director of the Fair Elections Project, which organized and launched the lawsuit on behalf of a group of Democratic voters in Wisconsin. He will be a key vote in the Wisconsin case. In that case and again in 2006, Kennedy didn't find one. He could be the swing vote in the Wisconsin case. Four others-only Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer remain-said such challenges could be heard by the court but disagreed on the method.

The court's five conservative justices voted to stop the redistricting process. They call their metric the "efficiency gap", calculated by taking the difference between the number of "wasted votes" for each party, and dividing that difference by the total number of votes.

When the efficiency gap is over 7 percent, it makes it extremely likely the majority party will maintain its electoral majority.

More broadly, the Court should rule that pure political motivations for election rules are unfair and unlawful.

"It shows us how much imbalance there is in the wasting of votes", Burden said.

The case in the short term could affect congressional maps in about half a dozen states and legislative maps in about 10 states, and then have major implications for the next round of redistricting after the 2020 census, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law.

"Austin and most of Travis County easily could be its own congressional district", Li said.

The Supreme Court will take up the most important gerrymandering case in more than a decade, it announced Monday.

Texas has its own redistricting case, too.

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