by Axios | 3.25.19
The Supreme Court this week will wade back into a fundamental question about American democracy: whether partisan gerrymandering can ever go too far.
The big picture: State lawmakers have gotten a lot more sophisticated and a lot more aggressive about redrawing their state’s legislative districts to help their party stay in power.
Driving the news: The justices will hear two hours of oral arguments Tuesday: one hour about North Carolina’s mapand one hour about a Democratic-led gerrymander in Maryland. Rulings are expected in June.
Why it matters: Critics say extreme partisan gerrymandering undermines the basic premise that each person’s vote counts equally.
The other side: The most interesting debate here isn't partisan, but rather a divide between voting-rights advocates and conservatives who argue that redistricting is a quintessentially political process and the courts should stay out.
Where it stands: The Supreme Court has never struck down a partisan gerrymander. It has never said a state legislature crossed the line in trying to secure a partisan advantage — in fact, it has never even said whether there’s a line to cross.
Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images
Written by Axios
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