Court Hands Anti-Gerrymandering Movement Biggest Win Yet

Court Hands Anti-Gerrymandering Movement Biggest Win Yet

"With a Commonwealth Court Judge decision saying that the state's Congressional districts are Constitutional, we hope the League and 18 petitioners would spare taxpayers further costs by dropping the case".

"The authors of the [now-overturned] North Carolina plan gleefully boasted of their partisan motives, achieved some of the worst partisan asymmetries of the last half-century, and ensured that their handiwork would be immune to all but the biggest wave-all in a state whose political geography, according to the computer simulations, mildly favors Democrats", Stephanopoulos said.

Senate Republicans issued a press release this week urging the people behind the suit based on state law to drop the case.

A three-judge panel on Wednesday rejected the argument that the map should be thrown out because it gives a political advantage to Republicans.

The state's request goes to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who can either act or, more likely, refer it to the full court. The focus of Wynn's ruling are the state's 13 U.S. House seats, 10 of which are held by Republicans. This marks the first time that a federal court has overturned congressional district maps because of partisan gerrymandering.

Wynn said state Republicans never disputed that the redistricting was done to help their party win elections. After the 2010 election where a Tea Party wave elected a GOP state legislative majority, Republicans controlled the redistricting process.

That ruling prompted North Carolina's gerrymander-created red majority to pass a series of laws to undermine Democratic chances of winning elections. For example, there were 158 fewer polling places in 40 counties across the state, which reduced Black turnout 16 percent compared to 2012.

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The North Carolina challengers argue, like the challengers in Wisconsin, that the maps drawn discriminate against Democratic candidates and voters due to their political beliefs.

The Pennsylvania ruling is the latest in a spate of recent lawsuits on gerrymandering - including two others in Pennsylvania alone - brought as Democrats try to win the U.S. House of Representatives this year and establish new ground rules for the next round of redistricting after results are in from the 2020 census. The state Republican Party chair accused him of "waging a personal, partisan war" on them, and tweeted this was a "hostile takeover". But the latest North Carolina voting rights victory is a cautionary tale. The high court also agreed to hear a Maryland case over partisanship in that state's congressional map.

Moreover, there's no guarantee that Judge Wynn's decision will be the last word. Johnson, a lecturer in journalism, is available to speak with media about the decision, election law, gerrymandering, possible appeals to the case, similar cases before the Supreme Court and related issues. "For the last dozen or so years, there weren't a lot of these cases".

The court has not weighed in on partisan gerrymandering in more than a decade, and the justices appeared to be sharply divided during oral arguments in the Wisconsin case.

Senate Leaders urge that federal cases regarding this matter should cease as well. "Rather, 'the core principle of our republican government is that the voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around'".

"First, that there was intent to gerrymander, that the legislature, in drawing the lines, meant to keep one political party in power nearly without regard to what the popular vote is".

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