gerrymandering

The Conversation: 9 Essential Reads On The Supreme Court And Gerrymandering

Jun 20, 2018

On June 18, the U.S. Supreme Court kicked a closely watched case on gerrymandering back to the lower court.

Gerrymandering – where states are carved up into oddly shaped electoral districts favoring one political party over another – has ignited debates in a number of states, including North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

The Supreme Court of the United States.
Matt Wade / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on two closely watched gerrymandering cases Monday but sidestepped the main issue — whether it's illegal to draw districts to give an unfair advantage to one party.  Experts say the issues could be more clear cut in a North Carolina case pending before the court. Justices could announce as early as next week if they plan to hear the case this fall.

Phil Roeder / Flickr

Updated 6:01 p.m.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued rulings Monday in two gerrymandering cases, from Wisconsin and Maryland, that are being closely watched in North Carolina. But the rulings don't touch on the key issue, whether it's legal to redraw districts to give an unfair advantage to a political party.

State judges ruled Friday that primary elections in four Wake County legislative districts can go forward next month, despite a challenge to the boundaries that were redrawn over the past year.  The three-judge panel at Wake County Superior Court in Raleigh said that with candidate filing complete and the election just a few weeks away, it was too late to halt the vote. 

The Supreme Court of the United States.
Matt Wade / Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court has already heard a major case about political line-drawing that has the potential to reshape American politics. Now, before even deciding that one, the court is taking up another similar case.

NC Candidates Begin Filing For Office

Feb 12, 2018
Candidates and their supporters pack the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections on Monday, the first day of the filing period.
Michael Falero

The filing period for candidates running for local and state races this November started Monday.

A federal court's decision to strike down North Carolina's map of congressional districts has cast uncertainty over this year’s elections.

Federal judges ruled Tuesday that the boundaries drawn by Republican legislators constitute an illegal partisan gerrymander.  The judges gave lawmakers about two weeks to come up with a new map.

 

The federal judges relied heavily on the findings of Duke University mathematics and statistics professor, Dr. Jonathan Mattingly.  He used computer programming and an algorithm to create thousands of simulated congressional districting plans for North Carolina. 

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

In what may be a landmark decision, a federal panel of judges has ruled all of North Carolina's congressional districts are illegal partisan gerrymanders.

They've banned the map from being used in this year's election and ordered the General Assembly to draw new districts by 5pm on January 24th.

Lawmakers are expected to appeal the ruling.

The North Carolina Legislative Building
Jmturner (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This year's congressional election has just been thrown into chaos.

Late Tuesday, a panel of federal judges ruled unanimously that all of North Carolina's election districts for the U.S. House of Representatives are illegal partisan gerrymanders. All 13 districts must now be redrawn just weeks before the campaign season officially kicks off with candidate filings.

USCourts.Gov

The fate of North Carolina's new legislative maps is now in the hands of a federal court. A ruling could come at any time.

But in a new twist in this long-running case, the judges signaled they may be willing to do something the plaintiffs explicitly did not ask for and state lawmakers do not want.

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