Published: Sat, June 23, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Supreme Court Dismisses Wisconsin Gerrymandering Case

Supreme Court Dismisses Wisconsin Gerrymandering Case

"It is a case about group political interests, not individual legal rights", he wrote. In the past, the court has identified such harm when districts were drawn to harm minority voters, such as blacks.

The Supreme Court's decision in the Wisconsin case stemmed from a challenge by voters from 11 state legislative districts to the Wisconsin Assembly's redistricting plan following the 2010 census.

"The plaintiffs argue that their legal injury is not limited to the injury that they have suffered as individual voters, but extends also to the statewide harm" they suffer in the legislature as a whole, Roberts wrote.

More than anything, the Gill decision is a stark reminder to Democrats that they must fight back at the ballot box in statehouse races over the next two election cycles, or they risk locking themselves out of power for a decade. But even as those cases have moved through the courts, legislators from those states have voted on health care, immigration, taxes and other important issues. He can be reached by org jforward wisbar email or by phone at (608) 250-6161. Now, instances of racially motivated voter suppression must be challenged one by one - and, as we saw in the case of Ohio's voter purges last week, these individual cases are often punted back to state election boards, overwhelmingly controlled by the GOP. That could take some time, however, so the unsettled issues over the practice could continue months beyond this year. "We are confident with the U.S. Supreme Court guidance, the lower court will find the Democrat activists' case is without merit". That case won't be decided until after the mid-term elections. "Today is a win for the rule of law in Wisconsin, and a testament to the talented attorneys at the Wisconsin Department of Justice".

Most of the cases will not affect this year's elections.

The difficulty with the Maryland case, the court said in the unsigned opinion, is that it concerned a request from challengers that courts step in now to keep 2018 elections from being held in districts that have been in place since 2011.

Americans often seem proud of their democracy, notes Pippa Norris at Harvard University, but experts rank US elections among the worst in all Western democracies. A lawsuit filed by North Carolina Democrats has plaintiffs in each of the state's 13 congressional districts.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined on Monday to pass judgment on a pair of challenges to partisan gerrymandering.

Visitors line up outside the U.S. Supreme Court plaza before the court handed down decisions June 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. However, the Court still left a window ajar. "Remedying the harm does not necessarily require restructuring all of the state's legislative districts", Roberts notes in his opinion.

That "smoking gun" was a statement by Rep. David Lewis, a Republican from eastern North Carolina's Harnett County. Courts - and in particular this Court - will again be called on to redress extreme partisan gerrymanders.

The Court also rejected the "efficiency gap" calculation, developed by professors at the University of Chicago, as a way to measure "wasted votes" and identify unconstitutional gerrymandering.

There are many issues with our electoral process - including problems with campaign finance and voter registration - but gerrymandering stands out as the worst, writes Norris.

Justice Kagan's separate opinion in that case was joined by Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.

Roberts argued the voters didn't prove they live in a "cracked or packed" district, and noted their argument wasn't enough to sustain individual voters' claims.

Thankfully, in a concurrence that recognized the "evils of gerrymandering", Justice Elena Kagan laid out two paths for a successful challenge. Writing a concurring opinion for the four liberal justices, Kagan warned of the "evils of gerrymandering" to democracy and tried to offer a blueprint for future plaintiffs to prove injury on various constitutional grounds - including a First Amendment right of free association.

"But of one thing we may unfortunately be sure".

"The claim was that it was statewide and the conservative justices didn't seem to buy off on that", Jon Greenbaum, chief counsel of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law told WhoWhatWhy. But they said they would have dismissed their case outright rather than giving them another chance to present proof.

Had a majority of the Justices agreed in this year's cases, that would have closed the federal courthouse door for good, placing no judicial limits on politicians drawing lines for their own benefit.

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