Redistricting Disputes

Should the courts limit partisan gerrymandering?


Disputes over partisan redistricting, or gerrymandering, date back to the nation's earliest days, and the once-a-decade process was as contentious as ever following the 2000 census. New computer technology now gives map drawers unprecedented precision to make districts nearly impregnable by stuffing them with party loyalists. Republican-drawn maps in some key states helped the GOP gain House seats in the 2002 midterm congressional elections, which saw significantly less turnover than in similar elections during the last 30 years. Then, in an unusual move, Republicans re-opened the redistricting process in Colorado and Texas, prompting the Democrats to try to get mid-decade re-mappings declared unconstitutional. The Supreme Court also is considering a case that could set some limits on partisan gerrymandering. Some citizens' groups say that using ...

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