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Supreme Court to review Wisconsin partisan redistricting

But the justices have not thrown out state electoral maps drawn simply to give one party an advantage over another.

The Supreme Court has never struck down districts because they are unfairly partisan.

If it does, it would have a revolutionary impact on the reapportionment that comes after the 2020 election, and could come at the expense of Republicans, who control the process in the majority of states. He said that leaves plenty of time before a June filing deadline for state legislative races.

As a result, congressional lines have become ever more partisan in recent years. In Wisconsin, the Republicans were in charge so they tried to pack as many Democrats as they could into the fewest number of districts. The Republican National Committee and a dozen large Republican states have asked the court to reverse the Wisconsin decision. Oral arguments are expected to take place after the high court convenes in October. Specifically, the court found that the maps minimized the voting power of Democrats, an unconstitutional form of discrimination based on citizens' voting history or party affiliation.

The case was initially decided in November by a panel of two federal 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. In our stay application, I argued that requiring the Legislature to re-draw district maps this year would have been a waste of resources.

It will be the high court's first case in more than a decade on what's known as partisan gerrymandering.

He continued: "If the justices agree, it would be the first time the court has articulated a constitutional rule in this context, which could - and likely would - have enormous ramifications nationwide".

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

Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. In that case and again in 2006, Kennedy didn't find one.

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Kennedy said he could envision a successful challenge "where a state enacts a law that has the objective and effect of subjecting a group of voters or their party to disfavored treatment". Voters have a right to expect fair and competitive elections.

"The metric that they came up with they called the efficiency gap, and it measures what they call wasted votes". John McCain in the past, said partisan gerrymandering is practiced by both parties, thanks to computer software that makes selecting voters for district maps much easier than in the past.

The measure, call the efficiency gap, shows how cracking (breaking up blocs of Democratic voters) and packing (concentrating Democrats within certain districts) results in wasted votes - excess votes for winners in safe districts and perpetually inadequate votes for the losers. And someone in a cracked district, who votes for a candidate that is unable to win, is a "lost" vote.

The Wisconsin court was not so definitive.

The court's five conservative justices voted to stop the redistricting process.

State Rep. Rafael Anchia, a Dallas Democrat and chair of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus in the Texas House, tweeted that the caucus would keep an eye on the Wisconsin case closely as the Texas trial begins next month. In the other cases, states have tried to defend lopsided maps that benefit Republicans on the grounds that partisan gerrymandering is a protected right, whereas racial gerrymandering is not.

The current congressional map was implemented in 2011. Under those maps in 2012, Republicans captured 61 percent of state assembly seats while winning 48.6 percent of the statewide vote.

Robert Barnes has been a Washington Post reporter and editor since 1987. If the Supreme Court takes it up, then we will actually get a statement from the court that, "this is the standard we've been looking for".



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