Opinion | Why Gerrymandering Needs to Land in State Courts


The latest redistricting cycle, where states redraw all Congressional and state legislative maps in light of new Census data, is well underway. It hasn’t been pretty — at least if you care about fair representation where voters, not the way the maps are drawn, determine who wins.

It’s already become clear that increasingly partisan state legislatures can’t be trusted to draw fair maps, and the U.S. Supreme Court — given a chance to intervene — made things worse by washing its hands of the issue. Congress, too, doesn’t look likely to step in to set uniform rules that prevent the worse abuses in redistricting.

So where is the solution going to lie? In the short run, at least, it will be up to state courts to protect the fairness of our democracy.

The process so far across the country shows why a remedy is so badly needed. Politicians in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Utah, and many other states are proposing maps that will skew the outcomes toward the current party in charge. Already, some observers have noted that gerrymandering by itself will likely allow Republicans to take over the House of Representatives. Skewed districts can minimize

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