Gerrymandering case could reshape Texas' politics

Pennsylvania's oddly shaped 7th District is often cited as an extreme example of gerrymandering

The Supreme Court is taking up a case about political maps in Wisconsin that could affect elections across the country.

Depending on the remedy that the court requires, the reverberations could be significant for redistricting after the 2020 census. There is no good case for Supreme Court intervention.

Justice Kennedy questioned the NLRB's counsel whether the arbitration agreements at issue truly prohibit employees' right to engage in concerted activity, noting that employees could still work together to obtain the same counsel, share information, and strategize about their cases; they were merely prohibited from joining their cases and litigating collectively. That would have the potential to undermine Republican control of the House of Representatives as well as several state legislatures.

"A good one", Vladeck said, "whether you're a Republican or a Democrat". They sued the state, arguing that its partisan gerrymander was so extreme that it violated their First Amendment rights to association and free speech and the "one person, one vote" principle enshrined in the Fourteenth Amendment's equal-protection clause.

The court has held racial gerrymandering illegal, and recently upheld a challenge to North Carolina electoral maps that watered down African-American votes. At one point, he asked one of them to imagine that a state passed a law saying its election maps will always "favor party X or party Y. Is that constitutional?" he asked.

Time is of the essence for the plaintiffs, because they hope to effect a change in the state's maps in time for the 2018 election cycle, which actually starts next winter with the circulation of nominating petititions for party primaries. The practice takes its name from early 19th-century Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry, who developed a freaky redistricting plan to keep his political cronies in power.

Henry Flores, a St. Mary's University political scientist, said that in San Antonio, gerrymandering keeps voters who don't think their candidate has a chance to win because of the way districts are drawn away from the ballot box. In Vieth v Jubelirer, a gerrymandering case from 2004, four justices rejected the notion that courts were equipped to monitor partisan gerrymandering at all. Incumbent politicians have used advanced computer technology to draw district lines so that the outcome of the vast majority of elections is now preordained; even Justice Samuel Alito, no friend to the plaintiff Democrats, described the current situation as "distasteful".

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The ruling in the case could help clarify the crimes for which noncitizen immigrants may be expelled, affecting the Trump administration's policy of stepping up the removal of those with criminal records.

Tonight, we discuss key cases before the court with Michael Scodro, partner at Mayer Brown and formerly the IL solicitor general and a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O' Connor; and Travis Lenkner, managing director at Burford Capital and previously a clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy. "It is time to terminate gerrymandering", Republican former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the star of the "Terminator" movies, told a rally outside the courthouse.

Which is better for Democrats? Roberts dismissed the statistical measures of gerrymandering devised by lower court judges as a "sociological gobbledygook".

Ginsburg asked Erin Murphy, the lawyer for the GOP-run State Senate: "If you can stack a legislature in this way, what incentive is there for a voter to exercise his vote?"

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that criminal proceedings in serious offences such as rape, murder, dacoity and financial fraud can not be repressed even if the two parties settle the disputes as such offences are not private in nature.

In gerrymandering cases the offending party switches voters, often black and Hispanic voters, from one district to another to gain partisan advantage.

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