Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Gerry Mandering Busted

It's about time we got something in our favor....how long before it trickles down to PA, who can tell?

On Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court corrected a serious error by a lower federal court that, if allowed to spread throughout the judiciary, could have significantly bolstered future attempts to draw gerrymandered districts.
Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections concerns 12 Virginia state legislative districts that were allegedly drawn as racial gerrymanders. Each district was drawn to ensure that black voters would make up at least 55 percent of the district’s voters. The state claims it did this in order to comply with the Voting Rights Act as it stood prior to the Supreme Court’s 2012 decision gutting much of the law.
The Court largely avoided the question of whether 11 of the 12 districts were drawn lawfully, sending the districts back down to the lower court for reconsideration. It did, however, correct a mistake by the lower court that would have effectively allowed illegal gerrymanders to thrive so long as they are pretty.
“An essential premise of” the lower court’s opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy explained on behalf of the Court, is that map is not an illegal racial gerrymander unless “there is an ‘actual conflict between traditional redistricting criteria and race that leads to the subordination of the former.’”

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