The Supreme Court has a chance to restore democracy to redistricting


The Supreme Court said Monday 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. Democrats and those aligned with them took that order as a sign they could lose the case. The case could have a major impact on how district lines are drawn up nationwide.

"This is a blockbuster". In addition, the case is getting attention because in recent years the court has considered racial inequities in political maps - but not the issue of how much partisan gerrymandering is reasonable. The judges ordered the state to develop new maps by November.

The Kansas Supreme Court today issued an order setting the deadlines for arguments on whether the legislative school finance law is constitutional. Four others - only Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer remain of this group - said such challenges could be heard by the court, but disagreed on the method.

The case involves district lines in Wisconsin that challengers say were drawn unconstitutionally to benefit Republicans.

The Wisconsin redistricting case may have some of the answers to Justice Kennedy's concerns about inserting the courts into reviewing partisan gerrymandering.

Michael B. Kimberly, the lawyer bringing the suit, said he had been watching the Wisconsin case.

"Justice Kennedy is the big question mark here", Douglas said. Oral arguments are scheduled at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 18, before the Kansas Supreme Court. A ruling will come sometime between late 2017 and June 2018. In 2012, for example, Democrats could have held a 17-seat majority in the House over Republicans were it not for partisan gerrymandering, according to the Bennan Center's analysis.

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Potter said the crux of the case in Wisconsin, as it is in IL and other states, is politicians pick their voters, not the other way around.

Since then, a three-judge federal district court panel ruled that Republicans overstepped, concluding that the map "was created to make it more hard for Democrats, compared to Republicans, to translate their votes into seats".

The case could have national implications. He was unhappy with a lower court's ruling, which declared the maps unconstitutional. The court said that tendency did not entirely account for how one-sided the maps are. They are so lopsided that many Democrats have given up even trying to compete in legislative races, he said. The two top Republicans in the Legislature, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, say they're confident the Supreme Court will affirm the GOP maps. Republicans can argue that rigging the maps is legal, but anyone who believes in a truly representative democracy knows it is not right.

Their lawsuit claimed that Republicans spread Democrats thin among some districts so that they could not achieve a majority. They hold 64 of 99 seats. "Now it has the potential to be applied to every state", Kessler said.

Ripple was appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan, Crabb by Democratic President Jimmy Carter and Griesbach by Republican President George W. Bush.

Last year, a divided three-judge Federal District Court panel ruled that Republicans had gone too far. Appeals go directly to the Supreme Court, without making a stop at an appeals court.

But the justices have not thrown out state electoral maps drawn simply to give one party an advantage over another. In 2014, the party garnered 52 percent of the vote and 63 Assembly seats. "What we have in this situation is a theft of that right by whatever party is in power at that moment to stay in power despite the changing will of the voters". That resulted in Democrats casting a large number of "wasted votes" - that is, votes that are not needed to elect a candidate. Republicans call their actions lawful.