Parties weigh in on the effect of partisan-gerrymandering rulings on NC case
On Monday, the Supreme Court announced that it would not decide whether the state legislative maps drawn in 2011 by Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled legislature are the product of partisan gerrymandering – the practice of drawing district lines to favor one party, at the other party’s expense – and therefore unconstitutional. Instead, the justices sent the Wisconsin case back to the lower court, ruling that the challengers had not shown that they have a legal right to sue. Read More
The elections clause as a structural constraint on partisan gerrymandering of Congress
Richard H. Pildes is the Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law at NYU Law School.
The Supreme Court has struggled between seeing itself as an institution that only vindicates individual rights and as one that vindicates, at times, more structural or group-based interests. Partisan gerrymandering or vote dilution is obviously intended to advantage or disadvantage adherents of one political party. This is intrinsically a group-based injury, as are all vote-dilution injuries.
In the racial-vote-dilution context under the 14th Amendment, for example, the Supreme Court recognized from its earliest cases, including 1973’s White v. Regester, that the constitutional injury occurs when districts are designed “to cancel out or minimize the voting strength of racial groups.” Similarly, when the court drew on the racial-vote-dilution cases to hold for the first time, in 1986’s Davis v. Bandemer, that partisan vote dilution could also violate the 14th Amendment, the court recognized that “the question is whether a particular group has been unconstitutionally denied its chance to effectively influence the political process.” It makes no sense, either practically or conceptually, to “dilute” the vote of any individual voter in isolation. Vote dilution, whether racial or partisan, is about diminishing the overall political power of groups as groups, compared to the power those groups would have in a lawful plan. Read More
The justices are expected to take the bench on Thursday, June 21, to issue opinions in argued cases. There are 14 cases left for them to decide; this post briefly summarizes those cases (in the order in which they were argued). Read More
California’s first fully online community college escapes common sense…
California’s first fully online community college escapes common sense. 114 Community Colleges already offer online classes as an alternative to those working students and do have the support they need to succeed in a current setting. Thus, our community colleges are positioned to better serve these learners. The proposal calls for an increase of $100 million in one-time funding and $20 million in ongoing funding to establish a fully online community college. Read More
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