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A Wisconsin court case may be the last best hope to fix gerrymandering by 2020


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#1 AnBr

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 02:40 PM

http://www.vox.com/t...e-court-parties

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Democrats have reason to be frustrated these days. They won the presidential popular vote and the Senate popular vote, and they were just shy of winning the House popular vote. And yet they are entirely shut out of power in Washington. The Electoral College and Senate are here to stay, needless to say, but Democrats do have an unexpected chance to make substantial gains in the House and in state legislatures post-2020 if they can convince the Supreme Court to go along. It’s a long shot, to be sure, but it’s got a better chance of succeeding than some of their other options: Jill Stein’s recount efforts or a time machine.

The unexpected ray of hope comes from a partisan gerrymandering case in Wisconsin. An eclectic group of academics and lawyers managed to pull off the all but impossible when they convinced a court to strike down Wisconsin’s state districting on constitutional grounds. The case is guaranteed a hearing by the Supreme Court, and it provides Democrats some hope of tamping down on the partisan gerrymanders that have handicapped their candidates since 2011, the last time districts were drawn.

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#2 golden_valley

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 02:44 PM

Good luck to them. With Trump appointing a bunch of lower level federal judges it won't take long before another case comes along that upholds whatever states do with districting.

#3 Traveler

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 10:26 AM

Good article. Gave a lot more background than this.
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#4 Rabiner

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 11:11 AM

to be fair the Senate popular vote is the dumbest thing i've ever heard of. Particularly when you have California running 2 democrats against one another since they were the top two vote getters in the primary.
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#5 Traveler

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 12:23 PM

I thought that is exactly what proportional voting was intended to do. They weren't running against "each other".
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
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#6 indy

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 10:02 PM

Weirdly, SCOTUS has accepted a SECOND gerrymandering case without settling the Wisconsin one yet, though they did hear oral arguments on it. This one is from Maryland, with Republicans challenging a Democratic gerrymander. I'm scratching my head trying to figure out what this means. I'm by no means an avid SCOTUS watcher, at least compared to some, but it seems like a strange turn of events, and somewhat unusual for the court. Hmmm.

ETA: Maybe they want one of each to short circuit claims of political bias?

#7 J-CA

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 11:12 PM

View Postindy, on 11 December 2017 - 10:02 PM, said:

ETA: Maybe they want one of each to short circuit claims of political bias?
There are 4 liberal justices, that is enough to accept a case, right? That would make sense. It could also be the conservative side of the court trolling, hoping to get Kennedy to reverse himself. If the R's from Maryland lose because they present a poor case that should have won on the merits that will send the RW media into a propaganda-gasim the likes of which we have never seen!
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#8 Rich T Bikkies

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 02:03 AM

View PostJ-CA, on 11 December 2017 - 11:12 PM, said:

. . . hoping to get Kennedy to reverse himself.

That's going into my everyday vocabulary as a generic put-down: "Go and reverse yourself!"
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#9 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 09:24 AM

View PostRich T Bikkies, on 12 December 2017 - 02:03 AM, said:



That's going into my everyday vocabulary as a generic put-down: "Go and reverse yourself!"

And I was holding out for “propagand-asm”!

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#10 Ari

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 06:13 PM

View Postindy, on 11 December 2017 - 10:02 PM, said:

Weirdly, SCOTUS has accepted a SECOND gerrymandering case without settling the Wisconsin one yet, though they did hear oral arguments on it. This one is from Maryland, with Republicans challenging a Democratic gerrymander. I'm scratching my head trying to figure out what this means. I'm by no means an avid SCOTUS watcher, at least compared to some, but it seems like a strange turn of events, and somewhat unusual for the court. Hmmm.

ETA: Maybe they want one of each to short circuit claims of political bias?

The Wisconsin case dealt with a challenge to the state-wide maps, while the Maryland case is focused just on one district. It's a clearer fact pattern for a conservative justice to agree to a standard of judicial review. I wouldn't be surprised if they overturn the MD gerrymander and can't get there on Wisconsin.

#11 indy

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 09:05 AM

The legal arguments are also different on the cases (Wisconsin is equal protection based and Maryland is first amendment based) so I think you are probably right, that perhaps they want to say something about the practice but aren't prepared to settle on a quantitative measure as the standard. I think that's probably the best result as well, at least at this point in time.

#12 indy

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 09:16 AM

And, to address J-CA's point that perhaps the 4 liberal justices were the deciding votes in accepting the Maryland case, it may be that they felt Kennedy was going to vote---reluctantly---against doing anything in the Wisconsin case, so maybe they did maneuver into taking this case as a way for him to get there.

#13 LFC

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 02:40 PM

Eric Holder, at least, isn't running for President. Instead he's continuing his war on gerrymandering.

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Former Attorney General Eric Holder says he’s not running for president in 2020.

Holder, a Democrat, said in a Monday opinion piece in The Washington Post that he’ll focus on redistricting, the process of reconfiguring electoral districts.

Holder served under President Barack Obama and is chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which has sued states over voting rights issues and legislative redistricting.

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