background preloader

Gerrymandering

Facebook Twitter

Gerrymandering the Presidency: Why Trump could lose the popular vote in 2020 by 6 percent and still win a second term. Donald Trump was the clear Electoral College winner in the 2016 election, despite losing the popular vote by a wide margin to Hillary Clinton.

Gerrymandering the Presidency: Why Trump could lose the popular vote in 2020 by 6 percent and still win a second term.

Anthony J. McGann, Charles Anthony Smith, Michael Latner and Alex Keena write that, unless the Supreme Court stops congressional gerrymandering, President Trump can guarantee re-election in 2020 – even if he loses by 6 percent. Why the Republicans will retain the House in 2016…and 2018…and 2020. Comedian Zach Galifianakis shows how insane gerrymandering is in a new documentary series.

In this short preview from The Nation (which you can watch below the fold), the younger Galifianakis and former Democratic state Sen.

Comedian Zach Galifianakis shows how insane gerrymandering is in a new documentary series

Margaret Dickson explore some of the most flagrantly gerrymandered legislative districts in the country: North Carolina’s 19th and 21st state Senate districts, which you can see in the map at the top of this post. In 2011, Republican legislators drew those monstrous tentacles to scoop out as many black voters as they could from the 19th and pack them into the heavily Democratic 21st in order to make the otherwise swingy 19th District less hospitable to Democrats.

Dickson had represented the 19th until narrowly losing in 2010, but Republicans even drew her home out of her old district to deter her from running again in 2012. A federal court recently struck down these districts and others in North Carolina as unconstitutional racial gerrymanders, but only after Republicans had already enjoyed the advantage of using them in 2012, 2014, and 2016. Supreme Court takes case claiming racial gerrymandering in Virginia. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a Virginia case that could clarify how much consideration of race is permissible when legislatures or other bodies redraw district lines.

Supreme Court takes case claiming racial gerrymandering in Virginia

The justices announced Monday that they will wade into a legal challenge to Virginia's 2011 redistricting for the state House of Delegates. Civil rights groups and Democrats criticized the GOP-led process for packing too many African-American voters into so-called majority-minority districts. "This case gives the Supreme Court the opportunity to further clarify how exactly to determine whether race has been taken into account too much in the drawing of district lines," said Rick Hasen, a professor of election law at University of California at Irvine. "It's kind of a Goldilocks problem. This is actually what America would look like without gerrymandering. The GOP scored 33 more seats in the House this election even though Democrats earned a million more votes in House races.

This is actually what America would look like without gerrymandering

Professor Jeremy Mayer says gerrymandering distorts democracy. (The Fold/The Washington Post) The GOP scored 33 more seats in the House this election even though Democrats earned a million more votes in House races. Professor Jeremy Mayer says gerrymandering distorts democracy. The Supreme Court may change ‘one person, one vote.’ This would hurt Latinos and Democrats. (Karen Bleier, AFP/Getty Images) On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case Evenwel v.

The Supreme Court may change ‘one person, one vote.’ This would hurt Latinos and Democrats.

Abbott. The main issue in the case is who must be counted when district lines are drawn. The “one person, one vote” principle in operation since the 1960s has typically been interpreted to mean all persons — including people who cannot vote, such as children and non-citizens. Courts Are Shaking Up House Elections in 2016. Courts Are Shaking Up House Elections in 2016 After every U.S. census, states redraw the boundaries of their congressional districts to account for changes in population.

Courts Are Shaking Up House Elections in 2016

This sets off a decennial exercise in partisan gamesmanship, with Democrats and Republicans seeking to alter the lines to their advantage. Lawsuits inevitably follow. How the Supreme Court Could Change Congressional Maps in Arizona (and Other S... June 24, 2015 The U.S.

How the Supreme Court Could Change Congressional Maps in Arizona (and Other S...

Supreme Court could rule as soon as Thursday on whether independent redistricting commissions are unconstitutional, possibly striking down several states' congressional maps and ordering new ones to be drawn. Arizona's Republican-controlled legislature, which brought the lawsuit in the first place, offers a clear example of how partisans could re-gerrymander some congressional maps in the wake of the Court's decision. An alternative congressional map drawn in 2012 by then-state House Speaker Andy Tobin, shared with National Journal by the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting, offers an example of the kind of map Arizona Republicans could pass. Compared to the current map, Tobin's alternative eliminates one swing district, currently held by Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, and turns it into safe Republican territory. The Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of redistricting commissions, explained.

The Supreme Court has yet to rule on partisan gerrymandering.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of redistricting commissions, explained

(Jacquelyn Martin/AP) The Supreme Court decided Monday it's OK for states to create independent redistricting commissions to draw electoral boundaries, possibly paving the way for more state legislatures to get out of the business of drawing lines. Monday's 5-4 decision ruled against the Republican-controlled Arizona state legislature, which sued to get its line-drawing power back from an independent commission that voters set up in 2000. (The case was literally called Arizona State Legislature vs. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.)

In setting up the independent commission, Arizona voters were trying to get away from partisan gerrymandering -- or the process of lawmakers carving out often-oddly shaped district boundaries to rig elections for a given politician or party. Why ending gerrymandering won’t solve Congress’s problems. Arizona's congressional district boundaries for the 113th Congress.

Why ending gerrymandering won’t solve Congress’s problems

On its face, Monday's Supreme Court ruling that independent redistricting commissions can draw congressional districts might sound like a big win for democracy. Rather than politicians picking their own voters and districts, independent groups in certain states can create more competitive, less-gerrymandered districts. And in theory, Congress will work better. Except maybe not. [Justices rule 5-4 that independent panels can draw election district lines] There's a school of belief that says gerrymandering doesn't actually have much impact on how members of the House vote.

As proof, he pointed to research showing a lack of correlation between what percentage of a congressman's district voted for a presidential candidate and how its member of Congress voted. Our partisan Congress is a relatively new thing. (via Pew) The reason for the change, Pew said, was geography.