Author Topic: Democrats Must Become America’s Anti-Gerrymandering Party  (Read 1439 times)

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Re: Democrats Must Become America’s Anti-Gerrymandering Party
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2019, 02:07:50 pm »

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Re: Democrats Must Become America’s Anti-Gerrymandering Party
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2019, 08:22:05 am »
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Re: Democrats Must Become America’s Anti-Gerrymandering Party
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2019, 02:55:42 pm »
Tuesday, 3rd September 2019
North Carolina Court Says The State’s Districts Are Illegal Partisan Gerrymanders
by Sam Levine






 

North Carolina’s state legislative maps are so severely gerrymandered to benefit Republicans that they violate the state’s Constitution, a panel of three judges ruled Tuesday.

The ruling came in a closely watched case in North Carolina state court. State lawmakers have until Sept. 18 to draw new districts, the court said, and they won’t be allowed to take into account any data about election results.

“Extreme partisan gerrymandering does not fairly and truthfully ascertain the will of the people,” the judges wrote.

“Voters are not freely choosing their representatives. Rather, representatives are choosing their voters. It is not the will of the people that is fairly ascertained through extreme partisan gerrymandering. Rather, it is the will of the map drawers that prevails.”

The case carries implications that go beyond North Carolina.


In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal courts can’t do anything to stop partisan gerrymandering. But activists believe litigation in state courts could offer a way to challenge partisan gerrymandering ― an idea that Tuesday’s ruling seems to bear out.

North Carolina Republicans controlled the redistricting process in the state in 2011, and drew congressional and state legislative district lines that significantly benefited GOP lawmakers.

Republicans were consistently able to win more than 60% of the seats in both of the state’s legislative chambers despite only winning about half of the statewide vote. They enjoyed that veto-proof majority until 2018, when Democrats broke it.




















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https://www.huffpost.com/entry/north-carolina-partisan-gerrymandering_n_5d6ec640e4b0cdfe0576eca5?ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000067

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Re: Democrats Must Become America’s Anti-Gerrymandering Party
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2019, 12:02:28 pm »
Monday, 21st October 2019
Supreme Court strikes down Michigan gerrymandering ruling
by Keith Laing and Melissa Nann Burke







The U.S. Supreme Court has tossed out a lower court ruling that would have forced a substantial redrawing of Michigan’s congressional and state legislative voting maps in a bid to give Republicans less of an edge.

The one-sentence order issued Monday was expected after the high court’s June 27 decision that upheld a Republican-drawn congressional map in North Carolina and Democratic-drawn voting lines in Maryland.

In the 5-4 ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the conservative majority that gerrymander claims involve "political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts."

The decision effectively insulated gerrymanders from federal court challenges.



"Federal judges have no license to reallocate political power between the two major political parties...," Roberts wrote, arguing letting them do so would be an "unprecedented expansion of judicial power."

The Supreme Court’s order doesn’t directly affect the independent commission Michigan voters approved last year to draw voting lines for 2022 and beyond.

A separate lawsuit by Republican officials is challenging the commission's constitutionality.

In April 2018, a three-judge panel had ruled that Michigan had to redraw legislative and congressional districts for the 2020 election because current maps drawn by Republicans represent a political gerrymander “of historical proportions."

The 2011 redistricting plan's “predominate purpose ... was to subordinate the interests of Democratic voters and entrench Republicans in power,” said the unanimous decision written by U.S. Circuit Judge Eric Clay, an appointee of Democratic President Bill Clinton.

Joining Clay was Detroit U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood, who was also appointed by Clinton, and Grand Rapids U.S. District Judge Gordon Quist, an appointee of Republican former President George H.W. Bush.

If allowed to stand, the blockbuster lower court ruling would have had severe implications for the 2020 elections.

The lower court judges had ordered the redrawing of at least nine of Michigan's 14 congressional districts and 15 state House districts, including more that would have been affected by political boundary shifts.

But they also would have prompted the realignment of 10 state Senate districts and many others touching them and forced their senators into special elections in 2020 — halfway through their four-year terms and before their normal re-election bids in 2022.

If state officials had not finalized new maps by a certain deadline. the federal panel court could have drawn new boundaries itself or appointed a special master to do so.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Michigan and some aggrieved Democrats.
The complaint was eventually narrowed down to target 34 of the state’s 162 congressional and legislative districts that would need to be redrawn, along with any bordering districts they impact.

The new Supreme Court order follows a similar move that sealed a win for Ohio Republicans on their gerrymandered congressional voting map.

The order has no direct effect on a separate lawsuit that seeks to overturn a voter-approved independent redistricting commission for Michigan's elections in 2022 and beyond.

In September, a Grand Rapids federal judge consolidated two GOP suits against the redistricting commission.

The Michigan Republican Party has argued the commissioner selection process violates the GOP’s freedom of association rights by precluding parties from picking their own representatives to serve on the panel.

The conservative Michigan Freedom Fund estimates the rules could disqualify more than a half-million Michigan residents from the commission.

Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel's office, representing Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, has argued plaintiffs aren't precluded from the commission because of political relationships but due to conflicts of interest.

It is similar to excluding people from jury duty for knowing people in a legal proceeding and thus having a stake in the case, Nessel's office said.







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https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2019/10/21/supreme-court-tosses-michigan-gerrymandering-ruling-gop-win/40353751/

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Re: Democrats Must Become America’s Anti-Gerrymandering Party
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2019, 04:38:21 pm »
Monday, 28th October 2019
State Court Strikes Down North Carolina Congressional Map
by Sam Levine



North Carolina’s congressional map can’t be used in 2020 because it’s so severely gerrymandered, a panel of three state judges ruled on Monday.

The judges said the gerrymandering, which benefits Republicans in the state, was so severe that it ran afoul of the state’s constitution.

The ruling, a preliminary injunction, is a victory for advocacy groups, and blocks the state from using its current plan in 2020.

Republicans drew the map in 2016 and openly talked about the advantage it gave to Republicans.

The GOP controls 10 of the state’s 13 congressional seats.

The judicial panel cited the state constitution’s guarantee of free elections, equal protection under the law and freedom of speech and assembly.

“Extreme partisan gerrymandering ― namely redistricting plans that entrench politicians in power, that evince a fundamental distrust of voters by serving the self-interest of political parties over the public good, and that dilute and devalue votes of some citizens compared to others ― is contrary to the fundamental right of North Carolina citizens to have elections conducted freely and honestly to ascertain, fairly and truthfully, the will of the people,” the panel wrote.
 
The ruling comes after the same three-judge panel struck down the state’s map for legislative districts in September, saying they too violated the state’s constitution.

The ruling is a particularly significant victory for anti-gerrymandering advocates because they had tried to have the same districts struck down in federal court.

A lower court struck the districts down, but in June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a case involving the very same districts, saying partisan gerrymandering was a question beyond the reach of the federal courts.

Despite that decision, the five-justice majority at the Supreme Court said that state courts and state constitutions may be able to act against gerrymandering.

Advocates now believe that bringing suits in state court may be the most effective legal strategy for combatting gerrymandering.

The two gerrymandering victories in state court bolsters that theory.

The districts blocked on Monday were obviously and severely drawn to favor Republican candidates.

When Republicans drew the districts in 2016, one of the explicit criteria for the plan was that it had to produce a map that gave Republicans a 10-3 advantage in the congressional delegation.

State Rep. David Lewis (R), one of the chairs of the redistricting committee, said he wanted to draw a map with that 10-3 advantage because he did not think it was possible to draw one that gave Republicans an 11-2 advantage.

North Carolina’s primary elections are set for March, and the candidate filing period begins Dec. 2.

Though the court said it would try to quickly resolve the case to avoid confusion, it urged the state legislature, where Republicans still have a majority, to come up with new districts.

















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https://www.huffpost.com/entry/north-carolina-gerrymandering_n_5db75dfde4b006d49173b030