So What the Heck Just Happened?

On June 27, the last day of the 2018–2019 session, the Supreme Court announced two rulings affecting matters of concern to us: one to do with partisan gerrymandering and the other to do with the proposed citizenship question on the upcoming census. Redistricting In Vieth v. Jubelirer (2004), the Supreme Court split 4-4 on theContinue reading “So What the Heck Just Happened?”

Breaking: Justice Reverses Course (was: No Citizenship Question on Census)

Update: Today, the Justice Department reversed their previous decision and announced that they will pursue including the citizenship question, despite the fact that it will delay the start of the process. Details here. Today, the Justice Department announced that it will not contest the Supreme Court decision blocking the inclusion of a citizenship question onContinue reading “Breaking: Justice Reverses Course (was: No Citizenship Question on Census)”

SCOTUS Rules Federal Courts Cannot Adjudicate Political Gerrymandering

In a previous post, we discussed the concept of justiciability–the question of whether courts could take any role at all in adjudicating questions of partisan gerrymandering. Today, a 5-4 majority of the court ruled that partisan gerrymandering cases are not justiciable in federal courts. The ruling moves the battleground out of the federal courts andContinue reading “SCOTUS Rules Federal Courts Cannot Adjudicate Political Gerrymandering”

Redistricting: It’s the Census, Stupid

While we wait anxiously for the Supreme Court ruling on the North Carolina and Maryland redistricting cases, we are also expecting a consequential ruling on the question of whether the Trump administration can include a question on citizenship in the 2020 census. The health of our representative democracy depends on nonpartisanship when drawing the linesContinue reading “Redistricting: It’s the Census, Stupid”

Two New Federal Court Decisions

As we await with bated breath the Supreme Court ruling in the North Carolina and Maryland cases, the world of redistricting litigation has not been standing still. In the past few weeks, federal court rulings have been handed down in Michigan and Ohio that strongly back the position that partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional and thatContinue reading “Two New Federal Court Decisions”

An Accurate Census=Reliable Data for Redistricting

                The mission of the U.S. Census Bureau is to serve as the nation’s leading provider of quality data about the people of the United States and its economy – AND to provide population information for Congressional redistricting purposes.  Every ten years, the bureau counts the population and 2020 is the year for the nextContinue reading “An Accurate Census=Reliable Data for Redistricting”

Where Things Stand Right Now

On the national level, a lot has happened related to redistricting. In South Carolina, there has been significant activity, but there is still a long road ahead. It is possible that future national developments will have an impact on the South Carolina effort, but it is too soon to tell. South Carolina Legislature The LeagueContinue reading “Where Things Stand Right Now”

SCOTUS Oral Arguments, March 26, 2019

On March 26, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two redistricting cases: Benisek v. Lamone from Maryland and the consolidated cases Rucho v. Common Cause and League of Women Voters of North Carolina. In the former case, individual Republican voters have challenged the drawing of Maryland’s Sixth District (in the western part of theContinue reading “SCOTUS Oral Arguments, March 26, 2019”

How (Not) to Tell You’ve Been Gerrymandered (Part I of Several)

In a previous post, we explained how sophisticated map analysis can support drawing district lines that result in party representation in the legislature that is dramatically different from the distribution of support for a party in the population. Over several upcoming posts, we will describe the analyses that are being used to identify biased districtContinue reading “How (Not) to Tell You’ve Been Gerrymandered (Part I of Several)”

How to Gerrymander!

Imagine you are a political party. At present, you control the legislature and executive of your state government and you have the power to draw the maps that divide the state into Congressional and legislative districts. You want to ensure that you retain control of the legislature in future elections, even if the voting publicContinue reading “How to Gerrymander!”