Supreme Court to hear major political redistricting case

“And so it’s impossible to say whether or not something unfair happened or whether or not the plaintiffs in this case just want maps drawn to compensate for the natural disadvantage that Democratic voters have And if you do that, then aren’t you making a partisan and political judgment that is just as much political as the one that the plaintiffs allege to have happened here”, Esenberg asks.The case in the short term could affect congressional maps in about half a dozen states and legislative maps in about 10 states, before having major implications for the post-2020 redistricting, according to the New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice. Similar cases are reportedly pending in North Carolina and Maryland.A dispute over Wisconsin’s Republican-drawn boundaries for the state legislature offers Democrats some hope of cutting into GOP electoral majorities across the United States.Republicans argue they are successful because they run better candidates in a state that is trending Republican.While the precise schedule of Wisconsin’s redistricting case is not yet known, experts say the court could hear oral arguments late this year or early next year, and a decision in the case is nearly sure to come by June 2018.A divided three-judge panel of the US District Court for Wisconsin ruled past year against the Wisconsin map, concluding that the plaintiffs are correct and that the map’s gerrymandering is unconstitutional. A lower court struck down the districts as unconstitutional previous year.The Supreme Court is unlikely to decide the Wisconsin case before early next year. The plaintiffs, complaining about an egregious Republican gerrymander of the state legislature, have come up with a new test to measure when politics has over-infiltrated the redistricting process.What is at stake here, both if the U.S. Supreme Court takes this up, and if it decides not to? He said that leaves plenty of time before a June filing deadline for state legislative races. In Virginia, where President Trump lost handily, Republicans have 66 of 100 seats in the House of Delegates.But Republicans have more to lose because they control so many more state legislatures.”As a result, in the first election under the plan”, the statement continues, “Republicans won a supermajority of 60 out of 99 seats despite losing the statewide vote for the Assembly”.In a 2-1 ruling, the court found that the districts were drawn in order to minimize the influence of Democratic votes, and were “designed to make it more hard for Democrats, compared to Republicans, to translate their votes into seats”, the majority opinion concluded.States redraw districts for House seats in Congress and for legislative districts in state legislatures.Redistricting experts widely believed justices would hear Wisconsin’s appeal because it’s so unusual.Burden said that if the Supreme Court overturns the lower court panel’s decision, it could be a long time before another partisan gerrymandering case lands at its doorstep.The four more liberal justices, named to the court by Democrats, would have let the new line-drawing proceed even as the court considers the issue. It is high time for the High Court to stop politicians from drawing district lines for their own political benefit. In 2004, Justice Anthony Kennedy staked out a position somewhere between those two views, saying courts could referee claims of excessively partisan redistricting, but only if they can find a workable way to do so.The Campaign Legal Center brought a motion with the justices last month, asking them to affirmi a November decision by the Seventh Circuit. But partisan gerrymandering has also been a dominant force.