'unconstitutional gerrymander'

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Cadfael
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'unconstitutional gerrymander'

Postby Cadfael » Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:43 pm

Wait. What?
A panel of federal judges on Monday ruled that Wisconsin’s 2011 legislative redistricting plan, created by Republican leaders virtually in secret, is an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.

The map “was intended to burden the representational rights of Democratic voters … by impeding their ability to translate their votes into legislative seats,” wrote federal appeals court judge Kenneth Ripple, the senior judge on the three-judge panel, adding that “the discriminatory effect is not explained by the political geography of Wisconsin nor is it justified by a legitimate state interest.

“Consequently, Act 43 constitutes an unconstitutional political gerrymander,” Ripple wrote.


Well I'll be hornswoggled. Didn't see that one comin.

Shorty
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Re: 'unconstitutional gerrymander'

Postby Shorty » Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:16 pm

So the last six years of WI elections have been done illegally. Oh well.

Cadfael
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Re: 'unconstitutional gerrymander'

Postby Cadfael » Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:29 pm

I especially liked the part where the Republican defense was "disenfranchisement isn't relevant. We get to decide the districts because that's the way it's always been done."

cloudy
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Re: 'unconstitutional gerrymander'

Postby cloudy » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:36 am

This is big. Florida, North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania also meet the 7% threshold of "wasted votes" that is suggested to be unconstitutional gerrymandering in this case (WI is 13%). This "efficiency gap" makes a great argument that changes the debate from the racial component of gerrymandering that has previously failed in courts.

gargantua
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Re: 'unconstitutional gerrymander'

Postby gargantua » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:56 am

I wouldn't get too excited about this. It will be reversed when it finally reaches the US Supreme Court. Just another consequence of this election.

Henry Vilas
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Re: 'unconstitutional gerrymander'

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:13 am

If the appeal is heard in the Supreme Court before a new justice is confirmed by the Senate, it might well end up a tie. Then the Appellate Court ruling will hold.

Bland
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Re: 'unconstitutional gerrymander'

Postby Bland » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:15 am

Or the USSC could simply refuse to hear the case.

gargantua
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Re: 'unconstitutional gerrymander'

Postby gargantua » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:46 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:If the appeal is heard in the Supreme Court before a new justice is confirmed by the Senate, it might well end up a tie. Then the Appellate Court ruling will hold.

That's true, but I wouldn't bet the farm on the case getting there before a Trump nominee is confirmed. I'd think they'd move on that as quickly as possible.

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Re: 'unconstitutional gerrymander'

Postby Ducatista » Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:11 pm

Just heard a commentator on NPR say that Justice Kennedy has expressed interest in hearing a political gerrymandering case, IF there were a solid metric. The metric in this case would be the efficiency gap.

Cadfael
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Re: 'unconstitutional gerrymander'

Postby Cadfael » Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:25 pm

gargantua wrote:I wouldn't get too excited about this. It will be reversed when it finally reaches the US Supreme Court. Just another consequence of this election.

The excitement is just that any judge, anywhere, has actually accepted the premise that gerrymandering should be limited by things other than race.

That's something I never expected to see. Regardless, nay IRRegardless of whatever happens on appeal, there is now a precedent of acceptance and an avenue for further action.

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Re: 'unconstitutional gerrymander'

Postby timby » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:37 pm

Ducatista wrote:Just heard a commentator on NPR say that Justice Kennedy has expressed interest in hearing a political gerrymandering case, IF there were a solid metric. The metric in this case would be the efficiency gap.


Don't forget that one of the few areas where Justice Kennedy is a reliably liberal vote is on issues of equal protection.

jonnygothispen
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Re: 'unconstitutional gerrymander'

Postby jonnygothispen » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:38 pm

Yet he voted against equal protection (under the guise of being for it) in Bush V. America 12-12-2000...

DCB
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Re: 'unconstitutional gerrymander'

Postby DCB » Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:46 pm

NC's gerrymandering was just thrown out by the courts. The court ordered them to not just re-draw new districts, but they have to hold special elections.
The judges concluded that “the overriding priority of the redistricting plan was to draw a predetermined, race-based number of districts.”

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politi ... rylink=cpy

Maybe we'll get special elections in WI!

Henry Vilas
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Re: 'unconstitutional gerrymander'

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:43 am

The U.S. Supreme Court just decided to take up the challenge to Wisconsin's partisan redistricting.

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Re: 'unconstitutional gerrymander'

Postby Zoti Bemba » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:12 pm

Tim Cullen and Dale Schultz in the Washington Post:

We led the Wisconsin Senate. Now we’re fighting gerrymandering in our state.
http://wapo.st/2rSppgZ?tid=ss_mail&utm_term=.61c4b907479a


Somehow I hadn't realized that they are the ones behind Gill v. Whitford.


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