Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

U.S. Supreme Court punts on gerrymandering cases: Read the rulings here

U.S. Supreme Court punts on gerrymandering cases: Read the rulings here U.S. Supreme Court punts on gerrymandering cases: Read the rulings here
Steven Clarke | 20 June, 2018, 05:43

In Maryland, the plaintiffs challenged only a specific district - so they had standing - but the Court rejected their request for a temporary ruling (a "preliminary injunction") that would require redrawing the map before the 2018 midterm elections. The court determined "no such standard [for ruling gerrymandering unconstitutional] has emerged in this case", though they left open the possibility that the court could rule on partisan gerrymandering in the future. It was nonetheless a blow to opponents of partisan gerrymandering. Perhaps most importantly, the Court's decision signals the continuing importance of other ways to fix the problem, through state courts, state constitutions, and the people themselves.

The supreme court said that the plaintiffs in Wisconsin had failed to prove they have the right to sue on a statewide basis, rather than challenge individual districts.

In the Maryland case, Besinek v. Lamone, the court unanimously upheld a lower court decision to decline an injunction to block the state's 2011 congressional map - citing legal uncertainty as sufficient justification for the judge's refusal. Individual voters, the justices concluded, must first show whether they were harmed by the boundaries of their particular voting district. That, Roberts asserted, made the case "about group political interests, not individual legal rights".

The court, however, sidestepped a definitive ruling in both cases.

The cases deal with, gerrymandering, the method of drawing maps that some argue is politically motivated to give one party an advantage in elections. In Shelby County v. Holder, the court argued that anti-discriminatory provisions of the Voting Rights Act targeting states that had historically disenfranchised voters were no longer necessary.

"This court is not responsible for vindicating generalized partisan preferences", Roberts wrote Monday. "Or from insisting, when they do, that partisan officials stop degrading the nation's democracy". Alternatively, the court could require challengers to show only that the party in power intentionally drew a map to put the other party at a disadvantage.

With another partisan gerrymandering case from North Carolina waiting in the wings, experts say the court might revisit the issue in its next term, which begins in October. The courts have been wise not to intervene in partisan gerrymandering so far.

Trump threatens almost all imports from China as Beijing fires back
Until now, China has mirrored Trump's actions, matching Friday's tariff hike with identical charges on the same amount of imports. USA stock markets are opening sharply lower Tuesday as tensions over trade between the US and China seem closer to a boil.

Republican voters sued Maryland after the legislature in 2011 redrew boundaries for the state's Sixth District in a way that removed Republican-leaning areas and added Democratic-leaning areas. The party on the wrong end of redistricting, she wrote, "may face difficulties fundraising, attracting volunteers, and recruiting candidates to run for office", thereby harming the constitutional right to free association.

But in a concurring opinion in the Wisconsin case, which Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor joined on Monday, Justice Elena Kagan emphatically took a different view.

Wisconsin Democrats sought to satisfy Kennedy with a test that relied on advanced statistical techniques. Earlier this year the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down that state's egregious gerrymander under the state constitutional mandate that all elections in the state must be "free and equal". It was the flawless storm, showing both the extreme nature of gerrymandering and how both parties do it.

Republican leaders took the unusual step of hiring a law firm that set up a restricted-access "map room", consulted with a statistician to assess likely electoral outcomes and drew the map in a secretive, four-month process. In 2012 the party won less than half the vote for the Assembly but still got more than 60 percent of the seats.

Instead, they moved hundreds of thousands of voters out of the district, and approximately the same number back in, but in a way that gave Democrats an advantage.

As a practical matter, the two decisions mean that Wisconsin's legislative map, which challengers said overwhelmingly favored Republicans, will remain intact for the fall elections.

Two months after hearing arguments in the Wisconsin case, the court expanded the fight by agreeing to also consider whether the Maryland congressional district was unconstitutionally drawn to ensure the ouster of a Republican lawmaker. It includes a plaintiff from each of the state's 13 congressional districts.

Recommended

  • GE Stock Kicked Out Of Dow Jones; Walgreens Added

    The company is under investigation related to a $15 billion hit it took to cover miscalculations at an insurance unit. S&P Dow Jones Indices said Tuesday that GE will be removed from the index before the open of trading next Tuesday.
    Bucks player Sterling Brown sues Milwaukee over stun-gun arrest

    Bucks player Sterling Brown sues Milwaukee over stun-gun arrest

    Brown's attorney Mark Thomsen filed the lawsuit in federal court, accusing police of "discriminating against Mr". But additional body camera and squad auto videos showed the moments after officers used a stun gun on him.
    John Travolta just earned his third zero per cent Rotten Tomatoes score

    John Travolta just earned his third zero per cent Rotten Tomatoes score

    Another reviewer, Valerie Complex, added : "This isn't going to be as effective as you think it is". The worst reviewed movie of the year is firing back at film critics.
  • Alexa Bliss Ruins Ronda Rousey's Night, Becomes Raw Women's Champion

    Alexa Bliss Ruins Ronda Rousey's Night, Becomes Raw Women's Champion

    Previous year the women of WWE made history when they competed in the first ever women's Money in the Bank ladder match. She followed up with strikes and knees and nailed a judo throw for another two count.
    Michael Jackson Musical Eyes 2020 Broadway Bow

    Michael Jackson Musical Eyes 2020 Broadway Bow

    Producers of the musical announced the project on Tuesday without revealing a title and said they aimed for a premiere in 2020. Jackson died in 2009 after overdosing on propofol and lorazepam and, months after, his death was ruled as a homicide.
    Star Trek TV World To Expand, Patrick Stewart Rumored To Return

    Star Trek TV World To Expand, Patrick Stewart Rumored To Return

    If so, it would mark the first official continuation of the TNG timeline since Star Trek: Nemesis. The undescribed animated series would represent the second Star Trek animated television project.
  • Canada to legalise cannabis after landmark senate vote

    Canada to legalise cannabis after landmark senate vote

    Five different Senate committees minutely examined various aspects of the legalization bill, hearing from more than 200 witnesses. The government accepted 27 other largely technical amendments made by the Senate and tweaked two others.
    Thomas Markle Reveals Warning He Gave To Prince Harry Before Wedding

    Thomas Markle Reveals Warning He Gave To Prince Harry Before Wedding

    President Donald Trump . "I was complaining I didn't like Donald Trump ". "I sort of disagreed with that, but I still like Harry. Her Majesty, 92, opted for a vibrant yellow coat and matching hat, as she was pictured arriving with her daughter Princess Anne.
    Konta beats Vekic to reach Nature Valley Open final

    Konta beats Vekic to reach Nature Valley Open final

    Konta overcame a rain delay and defending champion Donna Vekic to secure her place in the final for the second successive year. The Brit then stormed off court, with organisers rushing to get her back for the trophy presentation.
  • Florida rapper XXXTentacion, 20, dead in shooting

    Florida rapper XXXTentacion, 20, dead in shooting

    In March, a judge ruled that XXXTentacion could be released from house arrest in order to tour in support of his new album. XXXTentacion has faced several legal issues and was now awaiting trial on charges that he beat his pregnant girlfriend.
    McDonald's selling paper straws in UK

    McDonald's selling paper straws in UK

    Members of consumer watchdog SumOfUs have been asking McDonald's to take action on plastic straws for nearly a year. While plastic is recyclable, recycling plastic straws is expensive and time-consuming due to their small size.
    The incredible reaction in Walkabout Sheffield after England's last-minute victor  against Tunisia

    The incredible reaction in Walkabout Sheffield after England's last-minute victor against Tunisia

    A driver pulls over and, using ideal English, offers to run all three of us to our hotel. That was exactly what England did, but they needed Kane to be at his predatory best.

At-risk Republicans separate themselves from Trump's border policy At-risk Republicans separate themselves from Trump's border policy Migrant advocates announced they would rally outside the federal courthouse in Phoenix on Monday afternoon to protest the policy. After his remarks, the president raised eyebrows by walking across the stage, arms outstretched, and embracing a U.S. flag.

Chris Pratt spotted on a date with Arnold Schwarzenegger's daughter Chris Pratt spotted on a date with Arnold Schwarzenegger's daughter And when Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger are photographed in the same frame, the Internet is going to start talking. Chris Pratt and Anna Faris shocked the world with the news of their seperation a year ago .

Big Cass Released By WWE Big Cass Released By WWE In an update, Dave Meltzer is reporting that Vince McMahon called a meeting at SmackDown in Toledo today and fired Cass. On Tuesday, WWE dropped the news that Big Cass had been released by the company without many details.

Ronda Rousey Attacks WWE Champion, Suspended Ronda Rousey Attacks WWE Champion, Suspended Doing the same with Rousey is a convenient way for WWE to write her off programming for the time being until SummerSlam in August. However, it means that a return at one of WWE's biggest shows of the year, SummerSlam, in August, could be in the cards.

Republicans turn on Trump's 'cruel' border policy The Trump administration separated 2,342 children from 2,206 parents along the US-Mexico border between May 5 and June 9. Since children can not be sent to the facilities where their parents are held, they are separated from them.

Rush Limbaugh accuses media of spreading 'fake' photos of crying children Rush Limbaugh accuses media of spreading 'fake' photos of crying children Like many others who share her views on politics, Coulter has no problem with trying to cast children in pain as pawns. But as The Hill pointed out, the president has the power to reverse this policy on his own.

United States to Withdraw from UN Human Rights Council Today United States  to Withdraw from UN Human Rights Council Today All other 192 United Nations member states are considered together under a separate item, if they are discussed at all. He added: "Given the state of human rights in today's world, the U.S. should be stepping up, not stepping back". "Amb.

AMD will trade you a Threadripper 1950X for your Core i7 8086K AMD goes on, to tease "We appreciate the advancements they've helped drive with the x86 architecture over the last four decades". Before we go any further, the AMD promotion only applies in the United States , and only to the first 40 respondents.

Moffitt claims hometown win in NASCAR Truck Series Moffitt claims hometown win in NASCAR Truck Series Two laps later, Crafton's tire blew while he was battling Friesen, Rhodes, John Hunter Nemechek and Dalton Sargeant . WHAT'S NEXT: Villa Lighting Delivers the Eaton 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park at 8 p.m.

'Canadians smuggle scuffed shoes out of USA to avoid tariffs' Trump said is was 'one of the worst deals ever made by this country.' He added: 'We're trying to equalize it. According to Trump Canadians "buy shoes and they wear 'em.

Macedonian government submits deal on new name to parliament Macedonian government submits deal on new name to parliament Protestors threw flares, rocks and bottles at police outside the national parliament and chanted "Macedonia, Macedonia". The Macedonian parliament is scheduled to start debating the agreement the coming week.

€20million separates Alisson from Real Madrid €20million separates Alisson from Real Madrid As far as I understand, Liverpool have made a bid. "I love this club but we need to see how the club is going forward", he said. They talk today about Alisson, but for 78million (laughs), Liverpool can buy him.

Kane relief as last-gasp England escape with Tunisia win Kane relief as last-gasp England escape with Tunisia win His header led to Harry Kane's goal but a swing and a miss in the 39 minute was not his best effort on goal. For all the placidness and togetherness within the group, Southgate has added persistence and doggedness.

Mohamed Salah scores but Egypt face World Cup heartbreak Mohamed Salah scores but Egypt face World Cup heartbreak His five goals led Egypt in World Cup qualifying, but also tied him for the lead among all African players in CAF qualifying. He did win the penalty - confirmed by the video assistant referee after Salah was pulled down by Roman Zobnin.

South Korea to conduct military exercises near controversial islets claimed by Japan South Korea to conduct military exercises near controversial islets claimed by Japan This image, provided by Yonhap News TV, shows USA troops in an exercise. He supports increased discussion with North Korea. Korea's implementation of denuclearization.