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October 3, 2017      6:38 PM

KR: Wisconsin redistricting case could make for a more balanced Texas legislature

Justice Kennedy, the swing vote, said partisan gerrymandering could be argued as a First Amendment issue, arguing that a Democrat, by association, has an interest in his or her party having adequate representation in an elected body

Wisconsin produced the test case for partisan gerrymandering before the U.S. Supreme Court today, with plaintiffs arguing such a concept can be measured as a factor in map drawing.

The idea of gerrymandering – cracking and packing voting districts – has been front and center in every challenge to political maps in Texas.

In Wisconsin, the question centers on maps that were drawn, and then redrawn, to maximize the long-term incumbency of state Republicans. As Justice Sonia Sotomayor pointed out in today’s arguments of Gill v Whitford, long-term incumbency for any sitting politician might simply come down to the proper tweaking of computer software.

The arguments around partisan gerrymandering can’t be tried under the Voting Rights Act, which protects racial minorities. So, today’s arguments settled along different lines.

By Kimberly Reeves

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