Gerrymandering ruling a constitutional victory

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    Gerrymandering ruling a constitutional victoryGerrymandering ruling a constitutional victory
    Supreme Court has declined to involve federal courts in the Game of Thrones that is redistricting, write attorneys Eddie Greim and Lucinda Luetkemeyer

    The Supreme Court has definitively declined to involve federal courts in the Game of Thrones that is redistricting, ruling that conflicts over partisan gerrymandering are best left to politicians and the electoral process.

    The two cases resolved Thursday surely presented the strongest imaginable temptation to impose the judicial will on the wheel of politics: North Carolina Democrats and Maryland Republicans alleged that redistricting plans not only discriminated against them based on their political views, they also handicapped their First Amendment associational freedoms.

    But not for nothing had the high court declined for decades to validate this theory. Various justices long ago identified the fundamental flaw in every partisan gerrymandering claim. Namely: Under whatever formulation, it always reduces to the “group right” of some political party or faction to control a proportional number of seats.

    That group right has never been recognized by the court because it is foreign to our Constitution. How is one to define each political association that deserves a proportion of seats, and how are we to assign each voter to one of those groups?

    So here, the court was curious to learn whether these problems had finally been solved. Had the latest set of plaintiffs solved the doctrinal problems? And would better math help give form to a justiciable cause of action?

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    The Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court
    The Supreme Court

    Alas, the majority found, there is nothing new under the sun. The individual right the plaintiffs claimed — to be “free” of partisan gerrymandering — turned out to be the same thing as the long-discredited group right to proportional representation.

    Now we know: Federal courts will not adjudicate claims for partisan gerrymandering. Thursday’s decision keeps redistricting judgments with the political branches, and for that reason, it’s a victory for the Constitution.

    <p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Eddie Greim and Lucinda Luetkemeyer, partners at Graves Garrett LLC, represented the National Republican Redistricting Trust in one of the redistricting cases.” data-reactid=”35″>Eddie Greim and Lucinda Luetkemeyer, partners at Graves Garrett LLC, represented the National Republican Redistricting Trust in one of the redistricting cases.

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