Top court to hear case that could reshape US political map


Top court to hear case that could reshape US political map

"Legislature should be doing what they were ordered to do months ago by the federal panel, which is start redrawing the maps", Rothschild said.

The justices ruled in March that the legislature had until June 30 to enact a school funding law that meets the state's constitutional requirement for suitable school funding.

"This is a blockbuster". Justice Kennedy has said in the past that if there were such a standard, the Supreme Court should intervene to prevent such partisan gerrymandering. He represents a dozen Democratic voters who sued Wisconsin over its electoral map for the state Assembly. State lawmakers draw new lines in Pennsylvania every 10 years following the latest census. He said he expects that after briefs are filed in the case over the summer, oral arguments would be heard in November or December, followed by a ruling in spring 2018.

The high court has been willing to invalidate state electoral maps on the grounds of racial discrimination, as it did on May 22 when it found that Republican legislators in North Carolina had drawn two electoral districts to diminish the statewide political clout of black voters. "I think it's undoubtedly true that they do", said Jesse Richman, an associate professor of 1political science at Old Dominion University. Voting against the stay were Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

The Wisconsin redistricting case may have some of the answers to Justice Kennedy's concerns about inserting the courts into reviewing partisan gerrymandering.

At its heart, the case is about whether Republicans went too far in drawing their maps in 2011. They now have their largest majorities in the state House and Senate in decades.

Their lawsuit claimed that Republicans spread Democrats thin among some districts so that they could not achieve a majority.

The case could have national implications. A lower court struck down the districts as unconstitutional a year ago.

OH officials argued that the changes passed by Ohio's Republican-led legislature in 2014 were reasonable, nondiscriminatory and impose minimal burden on voters.

Governor Scott Walker said Monday the argument Wisconsin lawmakers' redistricting plan gave republicans an advantage in the 2016 election is invalid. Republicans call their actions lawful. A decision could come soon after. They hold 64 of 99 seats.

While the Supreme Court has previously weighed in on gerrymandering when it comes to race, it has not yet voiced its opinion on whether gerrymandering by political party is legal.

From 1984 through 2010, no party controlled more than eight Congressional seats, and from 1996 through 2010 no party controlled more than seven seats except for the Congress elected in 2008 - the same year Barack Obama won his first term.

Ripple was appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan, Crabb by Democratic President Jimmy Carter and Griesbach by Republican President George W. Bush.

The federal court that struck down the districts adopted an equation that offers a way to measure the partisan nature of the districts. But "while some might find it distasteful, our prior decisions have made clear that a jurisdiction may engage in constitutional political gerrymandering". "People in primary votes tend to be more extreme, so that means that we tend to have more extreme right wing or left wing candidates winning".



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