Wisconsin AG 'thrilled' high court to hear case

20 Juin, 2017, 16:48 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • Supreme Court building

The high court case could affect pending legal disputes over Republican-drawn maps in North Carolina and Pennsylvania and a Democratic-drawn map in Maryland.

GOP leaders were quick to respond to the decision. However, the court has never turned down a map drawn to give an advantage to a political party.

The case will be argued in the fall. We proved in federal court that Democrats and Republicans are pretty evenly clustered throughout the state and that Democrats in Wisconsin have had their rights violated.

The Supreme Court split 5-4 on Monday in ordering that work to be halted while the high court considers the Wisconsin case.

Last year, a citizen-led group in IL collected over half a million signatures to get a question on the general election ballot to change the state constitution, allowing for an independent commission to oversee the map-making process. The issue of gerrymandering - creating districts that often are oddly shaped and with the aim of benefiting one party - is centuries old.

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". As a result, CNN analyst and law professor Steve Vladeck adds this case could have "enormous ramifications" for the practice of redistricting - not just in Wisconsin, but in all 50 states. "It is clear that the drafters got what they meant to get".

Trevor Potter, president of the Campaign Legal Center, which is representing the voters who challenged the maps: "You would like a situation where the legislative outcomes accurately reflect the actions of the voters". "They are trying to accomplish by delay what they couldn't prove in court".

The Supreme Court case comes as a result of a decision by a court in Wisconsin, which found that the state's Republican lawmakers had violated the Constitution's First Amendment as well as equal rights protections for citizens through partisan gerrymandering.

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The issue has torn the court for decades. I felt strong that the united state supreme court would ultimately uphold it, so they are taking that up today. Others say courts should step in.

The measurement could appeal to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has said he is willing to referee claims of excessively partisan redistricting, but only if the court can find a workable way to do so.

In the past, the courts have deferred on answering whether partisan gerrymandering is constitutional or not for the simple fact that it inserts the judiciary into a "political question".

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide whether partisan gerrymandering - in which voting districts are drawn to favor one party - is a time-honored American political tradition or has evolved into an unconstitutional rigging of elections. Both political parties do it when they can. The generic term for the process is called redistricting.

The state and the school districts will have until Friday, June 30, to submit briefs. Cities do it for city council districts. The Democratic plaintiffs in Wisconsin's case are hoping to change that.

Twelve Republican-dominated states are supporting Wisconsin in its defense of the 2011 redistricting plan. In 2014, 52 percent of the vote yielded 63 seats.

In 2010, Republicans gained control of Wisconsin's legislature for the first time in four decades.

Both sides asked the court to expedite its decision, as the school districts need to know by August 4 what their budgets are.

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