Trump's trip to the Supreme Court

Trump's trip to the Supreme Court

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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.

"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", added Smith, who will argue the case before the justices.

The Supreme Court will hear the case next term.

The case was initially decided in November by a panel of two U.S. District Court judges and a U.S. Court of Appeals judge, which said in a 2-1 decision that the 2011 Republican re-draw of state Assembly boundaries is an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.

Rep. Peter Barca, Wisconsin state Assembly Democratic minority leader: "Voters should be able to choose their representatives, not the other way around, and I have faith that the Supreme Court will do the right thing to help end the awful polarization we see in both Wisconsin and across America". In 2016, a federal district court agreed with those Democratic voters, ruling that the state's election map had been drawn for partisan advantage.

In its decision on Wisconsin's case, the majority in the lower court panel decision wrote that the Assembly district map, which was drawn in the office of a Madison law firm that often represents Republican interests, "was meant to burden the representational rights of Democratic impeding their ability to translate their votes into legislative seats".

Stephanopoulos and McGhee's formula counts the number of wasted Democratic votes that results in an election held under a particular map, and compares it to the number of wasted Republican votes. "Now this story will be told on a national stage".

The Supreme Court has never tossed out a redistricting map based on concerns about partisan (as opposed to racial) gerrymandering. In the past, the four most conservative justices (then including Antonin Scalia) have written that the courts should stay out of the issue altogether, while the four more progressive ones have disagreed.

Four justices - only Justice Clarence Thomas remains of the group - said it was not the court's business to make such decisions.

It is a common practice for state legislatures to redraw voting districts to confer an advantage on the governing party.

Although the court did not explain its willingness to schedule a hearing at the same time that it voted to block the lower court ruling in the meantime, its actions on Monday were not favorable to the challengers of the Wisconsin plan.

Wisconsin's attorney general appealed to the Supreme Court. This ruling represented the first time in over three decades that a federal court had declared a map to be an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.

The case will be argued in the fall.

Previous year a district court ordered Wisconsin to produce a new, less partisan map in time for the 2018 election. And "that work is proceeding". And so a majority of the Supreme Court has always concluded that they can't figure out a way to do it without themselves making a political judgment about how much is too much.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, a swing vote on the court, wrote a 12-page concurrence to a 2004 redistricting case that suggested he was open to striking down political gerrymanders if someone could come up with a way to measure how much partisanship is too much.

The justices could say as early as Monday whether they will intervene.

The Constitution requires states to redo their political maps to reflect population changes identified in the once-a-decade census.

A gerrymander, scholars Nicholas Stephanopoulos and Eric McGhee, who devised the formula at the heart of Whitford, explain "is simply a district plan that results in one party wasting many more votes than its adversary".