Commentary, Defending Democracy

National legal experts: Unless Supreme Court acts, NC gerrymandering will become the national norm

On his website, Election Law Blog, University of California, Irvine law professor Rick Hasen had a fascinating and extremely important post yesterday in the aftermath of Tuesday’s U.S. Supreme Court argument in the Wisconsin political gerrymandering case, Gill v. Whitford.

In “Justice Kennedy’s Partisan Gerrymandering Hypothetical is North Carolina’s Reality,” Hasen cites national redistricting expert Micheal Li’s analysis for the premise that unless the Court acts to limit gerrymandering, North Carolina’s rigged elections will become the national norm.

Li notes that in a hypothetical posed by Justice Kennedy (at left), the objectionable situation described is precisely what’s been happening in North Carolina. For confirmation, Li inks to an August, 2016 Charlotte Observer story which quotes Rep. David Lewis making patently clear that GOP maps were designed specifically to provide Republicans with a partisan advantage.

Hasen sums things up this way:

“Not to put too fine a point on it, but if the Court does not rein in partisan gerrymandering, it will be North Carolina that will be the norm, and it surely will make things even worse in terms of the public’s views of our democratic process.”

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