UChicago’s Nicholas Stephanopoulos on gerrymandering, Wisconsin and a federal lawsuit

UChicago’s Nicholas Stephanopoulos on gerrymandering, Wisconsin and a federal lawsuit


NICHOLAS STEPHANOPOULOS:
There’s really egregious extreme gerrymandering
around the country. The recognition is
growing that this is a really pernicious
practice that is threatening basic democratic norms. Gerrymandering is the
intentional manipulation of district lines in order
to give one political party a clear durable advantage. Our argument in
the Wisconsin case was that we had overwhelming
evidence of partisan intent by the Wisconsin legislature. Using this new measure,
we could tell the court that the Wisconsin
map in fact, was one of the most
biased and distorted in modern American history. And this bias is very
likely to endure. The Supreme Court
recognized the possibility of a partisan gerrymandering
lawsuit in 1986. And since then,
nobody has prevailed on a partisan
gerrymandering challenge. So I think it’s extremely likely
that Wisconsin will appeal the lower court’s decision,
and that the Supreme Court will decide to hear the
case on the merits. And if that happens, this
will be a blockbuster case in the next Supreme Court term. To propose a new approach
to gerrymandering and then within a year or two,
to see that approach be the basis for a
successful lawsuit so far, has just been an
amazing experience.

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