The Constitutionality of Partisan Gerrymandering

In October, gerrymandering in the United States took an even more national audience with the presentation of the first oral arguments of Gill v. Whitford, a Wisconsin redistricting case in the Supreme Court. The political definition of gerrymandering is “when political or electoral districts are drawn with the purpose of giving one political group an advantage over another.”[1] Although gerrymandering is easily characterized by the media as a partisan move to undermine democracy, the intricacies of the issue go deeper beyond partisan redistricting. There are multiple factors to consider when examining gerrymandering, and this piece examines how the United States, in legislation and in precedents set on previous cases, has created the opportunity for gerrymandering to become rampant. It will also discuss two mathematical standards that have the potential to determine unconstitutional district maps and allow the courts to rule on gerrymandering claims. Continue reading “The Constitutionality of Partisan Gerrymandering”