Lawsuit challenges Pa. congressional districts to be redrawn before 2018 Election

Supreme Court Hears Arguments In Alabama Gerrymandering Case

This was noted by Edward Foley, an expert on election law at Ohio State University Moritz School of Law observed.

(A fourth, the silent Clarence Thomas, previously voted against court involvement.) That likely leaves the decision to Anthony M. Kennedy, who is more prone to bouts of fairness than his conservative colleagues. Gerrymandering is the distasteful practice where the ruling political party draws the boundaries such that it gives them an unfair and lopsided advantage during the elections.

"You are the only institution in the United States that can solve this problem just as democracy is about to get worse", Smith said. "If you let this go", he said, "in 2020 you're going to have a festival of copycat gerrymandering, the likes of which this country has never seen".

Actor and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks after oral arguments in Gill v. Whitford and to call for an end to partisan gerrymandering in electoral districts at the Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., October 3, 2017. Liberal justices have found it unconstitutional; conservatives have said it's the legislature's prerogative.

Outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday, a rally against partisan gerrymandering was held.

Fueling challengers' hopes this time are several data-driven models to measure election results against other factors. A partisan gerrymander tries to maximise the opponent's wasted votes by "packing" and "cracking"-creating a few safe districts that they win overwhelmingly, while spreading the rest of their voters as thinly as possible".

They say Republicans redrew the maps after the 2010 census to favor them. A federal district court ruled 2-1 previous year that those districts discriminated against Democratic voters "by impeding their ability to translate their votes into legislative seats".

Tom Rentschler of Exeter Township in Berks County is one of the 18 plaintiffs representing the states congressional districts.

He says normally, he would expect employers to argue in favor of resolving multiple similar disputes, together, instead of going through many separate, individual arbitrations. It will be taking up some important cases dealing with such issues as religious liberty, technological snooping, gerrymandering, labor law, and immigration. It split up some Hispanic areas of South Texas, and replaced them with more non-Hispanic areas, stretching to Bastrop County near Austin. Kennedy questioned whether Wisconsin voters had a right to challenge the state's political maps at all, but also asked other questions that made him appear open to the idea that partisan gerrymandering could violate the First Amendment. It must be because the Supreme Court preferred the Democrats over the Republicans.

The Pennsylvania lawsuit concerns congressional districts drawn up in 2011 by Republican leaders and signed by then-Gov. Each requires setting thresholds for "partisan asymmetry" - how differently the two parties can be treated without violating voters' free speech or equal protection rights.

Unlike last term, when an evenly divided court sidestepped or deadlocked on many contentious cases, this term - following Justice Neil Gorsuch's April confirmation - the court runs headlong into controversy.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that a decision upholding the Republican-drawn districts in Wisconsin would encourage one party's lawmakers to stack the deck against their opponents when they control the process and reduce the number of legitimately contested elections.

"Sociological gobbledygook!" Roberts snorted.

In Wisconsin, a lower court sifted through evidence showing that Republicans packed Democrats into some districts and spread them out across others to maximize gains for the GOP. In 2008, police responded to a noise complaint at a house party in D.C. The people at the party were told by a woman named "Peaches" that they were allowed to be there, but the actual owner of the house said they were not, and the partygoers were arrested.

"A good one", Vladeck said, "whether you're a Republican or a Democrat". "It's going to be a problem here across the board", he lamented. "Is this the time", he asked, for us to "jump in?"

And Gorsuch, President Trump's nominee, argued that finding a formula for discerning impermissible line-drawing would be as hard as replicating his favorite steak rub. "What's this court supposed to do, a pinch of this, a pinch of that?"

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