The case, Gill v. Whitford, comes to the court after a panel of three federal judges ruled 2-1 past year that state lawmakers unconstitutionally drew the boundaries of state Assembly districts to benefit Republicans in 2011.
For instance, Democrats in charge of the Maryland legislature have divvied up Democratic base voters in the DC suburbs and Baltimore into large a number of districts, while concentrating Republicans in more rural parts of the state in a smaller number of districts. In a 2-1 ruling, the court found that the districts were drawn in order to minimize the influence of Democratic votes, and were "designed to make it more hard for Democrats, compared to Republicans, to translate their votes into seats", the majority opinion concluded.
The high court justices will hear later this year a challenge to the way Republican lawmakers drew Wisconsin's electoral districts.
The case will be argued in the fall.
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The issue has torn the court for decades.
Walker said, " 'One person, one vote, ' the principles of community of interest, ensuring minority voting rights, all those things are protected in the plan that was passed by the Assembly and the Senate that I signed into law and I believe, in the end, the United States Supreme Court will uphold it". University of Chicago law professor Nicholas Stephanopoulos and political scientist Eric McGhee devised one promising option, which notes that gerrymandering forces the losing party to "waste" votes by placing all its voters into a small number of districts where the party gets a landslide, rather than spreading out those voters so they can have more impact.
But it is also true that statewide maps can be drawn in a way to give one party a clear advantage in most of the districts.
"So this stay order raises a big question mark for those who think (the) court will use the case to rein in partisan gerrymandering", he added Monday.
A three-judge court struck down the districts as an illegal partisan gerrymander and ordered new ones to be put in place for the 2018 elections.
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Yet if the Court reverses the Wisconsin panel's decision and once again rules that there are no judicial tests available to stop partisan gerrymandering, then we can expect ever more egregiously partisan redistricting. Democrats do the same, but control fewer states. Kennedy joined in that narrow ruling by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who noted in her opinion that Kennedy previously labeled partisan gerrymanders "incompatible with democratic principles".
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.
The challenge to Wisconsin's legislative lines are different because the challenge revolves around whether district lines can be drawn for a partisan advantage.
The ruling stated there was no question that "the map was created to make it more hard for Democrats, compared to Republicans, to translate their votes into seats". In 2012, for example, Democrats could have held a 17-seat majority in the House over Republicans were it not for partisan gerrymandering, according to the Bennan Center's analysis.
HARRISBURG - Standing in the rotunda of the state Capitol Thursday afternoon, Robert Smith, a Luzerne County resident, said that before the 20... Although the justices have frequently invalidated district maps that disadvantage minorities, they have stopped short of striking down maps favoring one political party over the other.
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