Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > Gerrymandering is going to SCOTUS

Gerrymandering is going to SCOTUS
Thread Tools
The Final Dakar
Games Meister
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Eternity
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 21, 2017, 06:12 PM
 
I'm scared to death. Also, giving it its own thread as I suspect the discussion will heavily focus on whether gerrymandering is ok
https://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...=.a96d50b20aa2
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.
But the Supreme Court has long been tolerant of partisan gerrymandering — and some justices have thought that the court shouldn’t even be involved. A finding otherwise would have a revolutionary impact on the reapportionment that will take place after the 2020 election and could come at the expense of Republicans, who control the process in the majority of states.

The court accepted a case from Wisconsin, where a divided panel of three federal judges last year ruled that the state’s Republican leadership in 2011 pushed through a redistricting plan so partisan that it violated the Constitution’s First Amendment and equal rights protections.
The justices gave themselves a bit of an out, saying they will further consider their jurisdiction over the case when it is heard on its merits.

And the justices gave an indication of how divisive the issue might be. After granting the case, the court voted 5 to 4 to stay the lower court’s decision, which had required that new state legislative districts be drawn this fall. Wisconsin had argued that would create unnecessary work should the Supreme Court ultimately overturn the lower court’s decision and allow the Republican plan to stand.
Both parties draw congressional and legislative districts to their advantage. A challenge to congressional districts drawn by Maryland Democrats is making its way through the courts.
But the dozen plaintiffs — voters across the state — said the evidence laid out in a trial in the Wisconsin case showed that “Republican legislative leaders authorized a secretive and exclusionary mapmaking process aimed at securing for their party a large advantage that would persist no matter what happened in future elections.”

In the election held after the new district maps were adopted, Republicans got just 48.6 percent of the statewide vote, but captured a 60-to-39 seat advantage in the State Assembly.
The justices last took up the topic in 2004 in a case called Vieth v. Jubelirer, which involved a Pennsylvania redistricting plan. The case split the court five ways, with the bottom line being that the justices could not agree on a test to determine when normal political instincts such as protecting your own turned into an unconstitutional dilution of someone else’s vote.
Kennedy said he could envision a successful challenge “where a state enacts a law that has the purpose and effect of subjecting a group of voters or their party to disfavored treatment.” What was elusive, Kennedy said, was “a manageable standard by which to measure the effect of the apportionment and so to conclude that the state did impose a burden or restriction on the rights of a party’s voters.”

In the Wisconsin case, plaintiffs urged the use of a measure called the “efficiency gap” to determine how Republican mapmakers hurt Democrats with the main tools of gerrymandering: “packing” and “cracking.” These refer to packing like-minded voters, such as supporters of the same party, into a limited number of districts or cracking their influence by scattering them across districts in numbers too small to make an impact.

Under the approach, developed by two University of Chicago professors, every voter packed into a district above the threshold needed to elect a candidate from his party creates a “surplus” vote. And someone in a cracked district who votes for a candidate who is unable to win is a “lost” vote. Surplus and lost votes are considered wasted votes.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
Games Meister
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Eternity
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 1, 2017, 09:46 PM
 
Happens Tuesday. Any predictions?
     
subego
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 1, 2017, 11:38 PM
 
Not a clue.

Kennedy has the right idea. The problem is a workable system.

The U of C system sounds interesting.
     
OreoCookie
Moderator
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hilbert space
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 2, 2017, 09:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Not a clue.

Kennedy has the right idea. The problem is a workable system.

The U of C system sounds interesting.
Agreed. There are also mathematical works on how to redistrict more fairly, and I have met another mathematician working on a mathematically rigorous analysis of voting systems. At the end of the day, if the proportional vote deviates way too strongly from the election outcome, then this will lead to a destabilization of democracy at large.

But in the long run the US needs to move away from pure first-pass-the-post voting, making the system more proportional would allow urban Republicans and rural Democrats to take seats — and give third parties a real shot at contributing.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
Games Meister
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Eternity
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 3, 2017, 02:48 PM
 
Well if past reporting is accurate then we have a good chance of snagging Kennedy.

What really interests me is what reasoning will be used to deny it.

Hot take: gerrymandering dilutes the vote more than election fraud.
     
OAW
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: May 2001
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 3, 2017, 06:30 PM
 
Gerrymandering just like voter suppression legislation is the devil. Because both strike at the fundamental tenet of democracy which is the idea of “one person, one vote”. Partisanship should never be a factor in drawing of electoral districts. At a minimum they should be handled by independent, non-partisan commissions.

OAW
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
Games Meister
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Eternity
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 3, 2017, 06:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
Gerrymandering just like voter suppression legislation is the devil. Because both strike at the fundamental tenet of democracy which is the idea of “one person, one vote”. Partisanship should never be a factor in drawing of electoral districts. At a minimum they should be handled by independent, non-partisan commissions.

OAW
Maybe my idea has no legal merit, but isn't it a fundamental 1st amendment issue? The government is infringing on the speech of my vote by tipping the playing field.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
Games Meister
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Eternity
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 22, 2017, 09:41 PM
 
Forgot to mention, I listened to the oral arguments. Probably the thing I was most struck by was CJ Roberts reluctance to vote against gerrymandering because it would subject the courts to more cases. His logic seems to be the by making a ruling the court becomes political because it has to pick winners and losers. Here's why I find that disturbing:

A. This concedes that gerrymandering does rig the vote, though I think he overstates its power. Ordering a neutral map doesn't pick a winner, unless you think it's impossible to create neutral maps.
B. The court shouldn't shy away from making a ruling because of the political fallout – at least not on something clear cut. What is the point of the court if it can't make hard decisions?
C. It is not the court that makes it political by making a ruling – that has already occurred. It is the politicians and parties who create overly gerrymandered states that make it political.

It's a little concerning, like a ref refusing to make a call because he doesn't want the crowd on him. I'm sympathetic to emotional aspect, but jesus. The reality is, as everything becomes more polarized and therefore more political the court is inevitably going to get involved. In one sense, that's exactly what it's there for. To take the tough questions.

Anyway, I'm mildly optimistic on this one. I suspect, mostly because of Robert's reluctance that this'll be the usual division on the court (Gorsuch seems to think gerrymandering districts is like seasoning steak) with Kennedy siding for the plaintiffs. I'd hope he doesn't write the opinion.
     
subego
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 22, 2017, 10:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
CJ Roberts
And his pet chimpanzee Bear crisscross America in an 18-wheeler solving mysteries.
     
subego
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Oct 22, 2017, 10:28 PM
 
"5-4, good buddy... we got ourselves a dissent."
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:12 PM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,