Supreme Court hears oral arguments in immigration detention case

Share

"First Amendment concerns arise where a state enacts a law that has the goal and effect of subjecting a group of voters or their party to disfavored treatment by reason of their views". For example, in 2012, Democrats wasted 2.44 million votes in losing races, while Republicans wasted just 1 million. Gerry's name was linked to the last part of salamander, and the term gerrymandering was born.

The subject before the court, in a case brought by Wisconsin Democrats against Wisconsin Republicans, challenges the constitutionality of political gerrymandering. "And if you're the intelligent man on the street and the" Supreme Court "issues a decision, and let's say the Democrats win, that person will say: 'Well, why did the Democrats win?'" In Vieth v. Jubelirer (2004) they declared that since there was no workable standard to resolve the issue, courts should stay out of the business of fixing alleged partisan gerrymandering.

Increasingly, it is getting hard to tell what may be a racial as opposed to partisan gerrymander.

Ginsburg asked Erin Murphy, the lawyer for the GOP-run State Senate: "If you can stack a legislature in this way, what incentive is there for a voter to exercise his vote?" Also, at one point, the courts were requiring the states to create as many majority-minority districts as possible in order to increase minority representation.

The court was hearing a plea filed by a man, whose wife and daughter were allegedly gangraped in July previous year on a highway near Bulandshahr, seeking transfer of the case to Delhi and lodging of an FIR against former Uttar Pradesh Minister Azam Khan for his controversial statement that the gangrape case was a "political conspiracy".

Attorneys representing legislative leaders appeared before a Commonwealth Court judge Wednesday to argue that a lawsuit alleging the state's congressional districts are illegally gerrymandered should be put on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a similar case out of Wisconsin.

There was something like consensus among the justices that voting maps drawn by politicians to give advantage to their parties are an unattractive feature of American democracy. "Social-science tools now allow courts to diagnose partisan gerrymanders with accuracy and precision", according to a brief from two political scientists who have helped draw district maps.

In 2010, after 40 years of Democratic dominance, Republicans gained control of the legislature and governor's office. The GOP holds now holds 64 of the 99 seats, even though more than half of the state's voters are Democrats. In 2014 and 2016, their 52% of the vote got them 63 and 64 seats.

Courts have already struck down lines in North Carolina, Virginia, Florida and Texas due to illegal gerrymandering. And that has nothing to do with partisan gerrymandering.

With digital technology, it is easier to carve out partisan districts with surgical precision. Indeed, depending on how the issue is addressed, a court ruling just might obliterate legislative gerrymandering in Wisconsin while institutionalizing it in IL.

Chief Justice John Roberts led the charge for conservatives, including Justice Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, arguing that the courts should not intervene in an issue that should be handled by the political branches.

Torchinsky noted the Supreme Court's ruling, if it found that there is no identifiable legal standard that can be used to define extreme partisan gerrymandering, could make the Pennsylvania case moot.

Which is better for Democrats?

The nine justices will consider the lawfulness of partisan gerrymandering, the long-standing practice of manipulating the boundaries of electoral districts to benefit one party, and whether in this case Republicans meant to hobble Democrats.

Share