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Source: (consider it) Thread: Wisconsin Gerrymandering Case
Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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No exactly Trump related, and I didn't want to get that thread too off-topic.

What are people's thoughts? Does it have a chance? The last case (2004) was struck down with the reasoning that partisan gerrymanders were “non-justiciable”, that is, not the purview of courts.

When you have cases like this, I must admit all I can do is laugh outwardly; and groan inwardly.

Is there a reason your major parties have this right in most states [~12 states have some form of commission drawing lines], and it is not outsourced to some independent body [as is the case here]? I realise democracy comes in all shapes and sizes, as do electorates!, but this seems to be begging for trouble. Dr Nicholas Stephanopoulos, who is part of the group whose models led to this case, said it was just a matter of Americans being used to it. I suppose that makes sense.

This clip from an ABC [Australia] show, Planet America, also mentions "sorting", where like-voters tend to live near each other (more likely to occur with Democrats) which impacts Senate seats. But I doubt there is much you can do with where people live. Planet America interviewed Dr Stephanopoulos, one of the academics who think they found "the smoking gun", but that interview is geoblocked. It was interesting hearing what he said about their modelling maps and comparing them to the actual maps, finding the bias of the actual maps was way in excess of their model maps. And their belief the court should be able to strike down the most egregious boundaries.

3 out of the 4 electorates I have lived in have been "safe", so my vote for the Lower House had little, if any, impact. But at least if I look at my electorate I can see it looks reasonable; that map I linked to above does not.

[ 02. October 2017, 03:56: Message edited by: Ian Climacus ]

Posts: 7371 | From: Albury, Australia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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I suppose they've fixed up Queensland by now Ian. There have been a few labor Governments since the infamous Joh.

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

Posts: 1004 | From: Romsey, Vic, AU | Registered: May 2014  |  IP: Logged
Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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Oh, good point. I forgot about Joh's redistributions. We've had the blight of gerrymandering too.

I was rather young in those days, and not born in some of them: does Qld have its own rules that the government can do so, or is it only federally we have an independent commission?

Posts: 7371 | From: Albury, Australia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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Also, dead men infamously voted quite often in Richmond Council elections for many decades (go Tiges).

Here's a link to the QLD Parliament's page giving an historical overview of the electoral system in that State. In short, the Fitzgerald Inquiry recommended a number of reforms in 1989, and they were acted upon by the Goss Labor Govt, including the establishment of an independent commission.

The Queensland Electoral System

The Tom Waites song 'Diamonds on my Windshield' has a few lines about Wisconsin which often come to my mind. Not at all relevant, just whimsy.

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

Posts: 1004 | From: Romsey, Vic, AU | Registered: May 2014  |  IP: Logged
Crœsos
Shipmate
# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
What are people's thoughts? Does it have a chance? The last case (2004) was struck down with the reasoning that partisan gerrymanders were “non-justiciable”, that is, not the purview of courts.

Its interesting in that Vieth v. Jubelirer held:

quote:
Eighteen years of judicial effort with virtually nothing to show for it justify us in revisiting the question whether the standard promised by Bandemer exists. As the following discussion reveals, no judicially discernible and manageable standards for adjudicating political gerrymandering claims have emerged. Lacking them, we must conclude that political gerrymandering claims are nonjusticiable and that Bandemer was wrongly decided.
This was a plurality decision, with the high court's weathervane, Anthony Kennedy, writing in his concurrence:

quote:
That no such standard has emerged in this case should not be taken to prove that none will emerge in the future.
The plaintiffs in Gill v. Whitford are arguing that they have come up with such a standard, the "efficiency gap", which courts can use reliably as a sieve for such cases. Despite the shakeup in the court since 2004, it seems like Kennedy is still the deciding vote. Rhenquist, O'Connor, and Scalia sided with the plurality in Veith and have been replaced by Roberts, Alito, and not-Garland, who will almost certainly vote the same way as the justices they replaced. Likewise dissenters Stevens and Souter have been replaced by Kagan and Sotomayor, who seem likely to vote the same way as their predecessors.

It seems like the efficiency gap is the kind of narrow, technocratic tool that would appeal to Kennedy, but I've long ago given up trying to predict which way he'll jump in any given case.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

Posts: 10332 | From: Sardis, Lydia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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Fascinating. Thanks Crœsos!
Posts: 7371 | From: Albury, Australia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gee D
Shipmate
# 13815

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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
I suppose they've fixed up Queensland by now Ian. There have been a few labor Governments since the infamous Joh.

The Queensland gerrymander went back not to Joh, simply the last beneficiary in a line, but to the Labor government in 1922 or thereabouts. At that stage, Labor could rely upon the strong vote of the farmhands to give it a good majority. Then the tide turned and the Country Party took the benefit.

AFAIK, all States now, and the Commonwealth, have independent electoral commissions - as indeed did Queensland. It's just that in Queensland for so many years, and in SA - remember Playford- and others the rules the commission had to work with skewed the result heavily

[ 02. October 2017, 21:31: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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spot on Gee D. I didn't feel able to go beyond Joh, especially as Ian has revealed his youth.

Creoses, thankyou for not-Garland. I almost spat my coffee all over my keyboard [Killing me]

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

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Crœsos
Shipmate
# 238

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An analysis of the oral arguments in Gill from the good folks at SCOTUSblog.

And for those who really want to get into the details, the Supreme Court provides transcripts [PDF] of oral arguments.

[ 03. October 2017, 20:39: Message edited by: Crœsos ]

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

Posts: 10332 | From: Sardis, Lydia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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Thanks Crœsos. What a great resource that SCOTUSblog is too.
Posts: 7371 | From: Albury, Australia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gee D
Shipmate
# 13815

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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
spot on Gee D. I didn't feel able to go beyond Joh, especially as Ian has revealed his youth.

In Queensland, it was a case of the biter bit. The Labor country vote (except for Mt Isa) largely disappeared, The statutory direction to the commission to equate 1.5 city votes to 1 country vote just gave a long-lasting Country Party government. Playfair took advantage of what was thought to be a temporary majority to pass similar legislation and the LCP stayed in power for decades.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

Posts: 6615 | From: Warrawee NSW Australia | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged


 
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