Supreme Court to hear major case on political boundaries

Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton - all played a role in the state's last round of redistricting, but none had weighed in on the U.S Supreme Court's announcement as of midday Monday. The court will hear arguments in October.

Burden said that if the Supreme Court overturns the lower court panel's decision, it could be a long time before another partisan gerrymandering case lands at its doorstep. The other votes are a predictable 4-4 tie, so the case will likely be determined by whether Kennedy finds that standard to be valid and workable in practice.

The Wisconsin case comes as Texas is fighting legal challenges to its own legislative maps. That happened before in 2006-2007, he added. One of them, funded by a nonpartisan redistricting reform group called OneVirginia2021, argued that Republican legislators drawing the maps were more concerned with designing ways to get elected than with the "compactness" of the district, which the state constitution requires.

"What you want to do is not just to advantage yourself, you also want to spread out your district so that you don't have 100 percent of your political party in a district", she said. He says the redistricting process was "entirely lawful and constitutional".

A federal district court in Wisconsin ruled 2-1 in November that election districts drawn by Republicans discriminated against Democratic voters "by impeding their ability to translate their votes into legislative seats". This then allows for the Republicans to keep a 50.1 percent majority in more of the districts and give them a higher number of wins.

The way gerrymandering was carried out in states like Wisconsin was that Republican lawmakers would stuff Democratic voters into already Democratic districts and Democrats would do vice versa in their constituencies. This is what the challengers allege the Republicans in Wisconsin of doing.

The court's ultimate ruling could shift how legislative and congressional lines are drawn - and thus who controls statehouses and Congress.

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday it was taking up a case from Wisconsin on partisan gerrymandering - the first time in more than a decade the court will consider the constitutionality of redrawing political maps based on partisanship. "I think it's undoubtedly true that they do", said Jesse Richman, an associate professor of 1political science at Old Dominion University.

"The Supreme Court has the opportunity to ensure the maps in Wisconsin are drawn fairly, and further, has the opportunity to create ground rules that safeguard every citizen's right to freely choose their representatives", Smith said.

While the high court refused to hear an appeal in this case, it did recently agree to hear Mr. Husted's appeal of a decision in a separate case that sided with the Northeast Coalition for the Homeless. North Carolina's congressional delegation tilts 10-3 Republican. With Gov. Scott Walker leading Wisconsin, Republicans have enjoyed complete control of state government since the maps went into effect in 2012. While the term is named for Gerry, redrawing districts was not his invention.

  • Larry Hoffman