Justices could take up high-stakes fight over electoral maps

Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton Holds Election Night Event In New York City

In Whitford, a divided three-judge panel held, in an opinion by Reagan-appointed Judge Kenneth Ripple, that Wisconsin's state assembly maps violate the Constitution. I am pleased that the Court granted our request on this important issue.

Arguments in the case will be in the fall. The generic term for the process is called redistricting. Moreover, because of a quirk of federal law, the case is overwhelmingly likely to wind up in the Supreme Court.

In 2010, when districts were last redrawn, Republicans controlled the process in a majority of states, which helped lock in their electoral advantage. The four liberals (Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan) dissented. "If your argument is the maps are unfair, it should only happen once", he said. So, we're hoping they will re affirm that, and then also say, "this is a standard we can actually use in multiple states", Greenwood says.

Sachin Chheda (SAH'-chihn CHAY'-dah) is director of the Fair Elections Project, which organized and launched the lawsuit.

We spoke with one of the plaintiffs who told us that one of the problems with the maps - or I guess probably the biggest problem with the maps - is that it is impossible for Democrats to win. And the justices must also decide whether they even have the jurisdiction to rule in the Wisconsin case, a question they left open in accepting the case. They said the federal court overstepped its bounds and judges should stay out of an inherently political exercise.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that states can not gerrymander districts in an effort to reduce the influence of minority voters.

In a subsequent ruling, the lower court ordered that the Legislature must have a new redistricting plan in place by November 1, 2017, for the 2018 general election.

"Correct", responded Marc Elias, who was general counsel for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. He said the Wisconsin case, along with others, "will halt these illegal maps, now and in the future".

In the Seventh Circuit decision, the federal appeals court struck down Wisconsin's 2011 State Assembly map as unconstitutional under the First and 14th Amendments.

Redistricting experts widely believed justices would hear Wisconsin's appeal because it's so unusual. "They are trying to accomplish by delay what they couldn't prove in court".

Attorney General Brad Schimel released the following statement in response.

Voters in Georgia's 6th congressional district head to the polls Tuesday to vote in a special election between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel.

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. In an era of deep partisan division, the Supreme Court could soon decide whether the drawing of electoral districts can be too political. That weakened African-American voting strength elsewhere in the state, the court said. The Court's decision in this case will determine whether that ideal becomes a reality. Dissenting was U.S. Chief Judge William Griesbach of Milwaukee. Redistricting commonly takes place after the once-a-decade census is conducted.

The Supreme Court declared Monday that it will consider whether gerrymandered election maps favoring one political party over another violate the Constitution, a potentially fundamental change in the way American elections are conducted.

The measure, called the efficiency gap, shows how cracking (breaking up blocs of Democratic voters) and packing (concentrating Democrats within certain districts) results in wasted votes - excess votes for winners in safe districts and perpetually inadequate votes for the losers.

The Democrats say that the 2011 plan was drawn specifically to disenfranchise Democratic voters. North Carolina's congressional delegation tilts 10-3 Republican.

"The Legislature moved across the street to a private law firm, where they hold meetings in secret with a very small group of aids, where they drew the line purely for the advantage of the Republican Party".

"We are hopeful that the decision to hear this case will be the first step in addressing the partisan gerrymandering that is now shaping the House of Representatives as well as state legislatures across the country".

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