Supreme Court hears gerrymandering case stemming out of Wisconsin

Supreme Court hears gerrymandering case stemming out of Wisconsin

Supreme Court hears gerrymandering case stemming out of Wisconsin

Texas isn't the most unfairly redistricted state - if you use the measure cited by lawyers arguing this week before the U.S. Supreme Court - but the maps we use to elect people to Congress and the Texas Legislature are rigged in favor of the Republican majority.

Partisan Gerrymandering - in a case to determine whether politicians, by drawing legislative districts along partisan lines, should essentially continue to be allowed to choose their voters, rather than the other way around.

The Supreme Court wrestled with those issues on their opening day, October 2. Gorsuch did not ask any more questions for the remainder of the oral arguments. But gerrymandering for political reasons is a much-disdained, but entirely legal, tradition that goes back, well, to the early days of this republic.

There is now no law against gerrymandering, but the outcome of the Wisconsin gerrymandering case could change that.

How has that worked out in Wisconsin? The same thing happened in Iowa this year.

But even if the court gets beyond all that, there's a bigger question - does gerrymandering even work? A 2018 referendum has delayed the Missouri law, for now.

Fifty-four retired Wisconsin judges have petitioned the state Supreme Court, asking that it establish responsible standards for recusal by judges who accepted campaign contributions from plaintiffs and defendants in cases they are hearing.

Republicans now represent 13 of 18 congressional districts in Pennsylvania, despite winning about half the statewide votes in the past three elections. Five of the eight USA representatives are Republicans.

A three-judge federal District Court panel ordered that the maps be redrawn, but the case was appealed to the high court, which has traditionally resisted involving itself in partisan quarrels over district lines. It's that voters shouldn't be punished for associating with one party or another. "We believe we followed that and we think the justices will agree".

The issue is reaching the high court at a time when both Republicans and Democrats have improved the art of drawing congressional and legislative maps to entrench themselves in office for a decade at a time. Whether it's a Democratic district or a Republican district, using this map, the result is preordained in most of the districts.

What about the "precious right to vote"? asked Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The opposing sides in the historic controversy over President Trump's limits on foreign travelers' entry into the USA handed the Supreme Court on Thursday a hard new question: will the defeats the Administration already suffered in this fight in lower courts remain, or be wiped off the books? How does partisan gerrymandering "punish" voters of one party? And it is partly because Democratic voters, in Wisconsin and nationally, are inefficiently distributed, disproportionately concentrated in cities and college towns, such as Milwaukee and Madison.

Sotomayor was similarly skeptical.

Maryland's 3rd Congressional District has been described as the most egregious case of gerrymandering in the nation. Under the Constitution, the federal courts - including the Supreme Court - have authority only to decide actual, or "live", legal disputes; that means that the cases, throughout their move through the courts, must have real substance with a claim of actual injury met by a claim that no harm was done. But I don't see a constitutional argument for their looking at it at all.

The plaintiffs are presenting a test known as the "efficiency gap". Roberts didn't like that and said so to Smith, the Democratic voters' lawyer.

The judge also put off consideration of a separate request by several Republicans who are active in political campaigns, seeking to join the litigation. He said that partisan gerrymanders result in a violation of the "Equal Protection Clause by discriminating against the targeted party's voters" and preventing them from "fair and effective representation".

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that criminal proceedings in serious offences such as rape, murder, dacoity and financial fraud can not be repressed even if the two parties settle the disputes as such offences are not private in nature. "And that's going to come out one case after another as these cases are brought in every state". Twenty-three percent of private-sector nonunion employees, or 24.7 million American workers, no longer have the right to bring a class-action claim if their employment rights have been violated.

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