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Thread: Democracy vs. Math

  1. #1
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Default Democracy vs. Math

    In anticipation of the upcoming Wisconsin gerrymandering case I hereby dedicate this thread to a discussion of the future (and the present) of gerrymandering in the US.

    It will be interesting to see whether the Court accepts the partisan symmetry measure as relevant and compelling:

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/08/2...y-vs-math.html
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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    Local talking head LittleFuzzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    In anticipation of the upcoming Wisconsin gerrymandering case I hereby dedicate this thread to a discussion of the future (and the present) of gerrymandering in the US.

    It will be interesting to see whether the Court accepts the partisan symmetry measure as relevant and compelling:

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/08/2...y-vs-math.html

    Nope. The reason the courts will hear racial challenge questions is because they're following Congressional legislation which allows them to do so (and then when hearing them they apply the strict scrutiny standard because prior jurisprudence tells them there isn't a prima facie reason for there to be differences based on race). Partisan stacking/cracking (I can't really call it gerrymandering because that actually has a specific meaning to the court which does not apply here) is an issue which is first going to have to be addressed by Congress or by states individually because that's where the Constitution placed regulation of state districting. It doesn't matter if the capability exists to referee district-drawing now, that's just not a job for the courts unless and until it gets delegated to them by those whose job it is now.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleFuzzy View Post
    Nope. The reason the courts will hear racial challenge questions is because they're following Congressional legislation which allows them to do so (and then when hearing them they apply the strict scrutiny standard because prior jurisprudence tells them there isn't a prima facie reason for there to be differences based on race). Partisan stacking/cracking (I can't really call it gerrymandering because that actually has a specific meaning to the court which does not apply here) is an issue which is first going to have to be addressed by Congress or by states individually because that's where the Constitution placed regulation of state districting. It doesn't matter if the capability exists to referee district-drawing now, that's just not a job for the courts unless and until it gets delegated to them by those whose job it is now.
    LF, even if you ignore the question of Congressional legislation, isn't it also a questionable argument in the first place? Even with automated redistricting, you'd be hard-pressed to find a system that would eliminate structural factors that make D voter distribution inefficient. And if you managed to make some system that would actually meet the rather arbitrary standard of partisan symmetry, you'd almost certainly get laughable district boundaries of the sort that are currently used to indict gerrymandering.

    IMO it seems better to push for some sort of automated process rather than litigating this issue in the courts, since on so many levels it seems hard to defend.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

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    Local talking head LittleFuzzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    LF, even if you ignore the question of Congressional legislation, isn't it also a questionable argument in the first place?
    Perhaps, but that's not the sort of thing SCOTUS likes to get into if district and appellate courts have let it go. Ye olde questions of fact are supposed to be what the lowest levels have already resolved. They'll address such matters if the have to but they'd prefer not to hold up bad examples for display because negative examples aren't a very good way to show lower courts what SCOTUS would actually like to see done/helping the lower courts find a template that IS workable and constitutional.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

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    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    I just think the First Amendment angle is very interesting.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

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    Local talking head LittleFuzzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    I just think the First Amendment angle is very interesting.
    As a theoretical framework I guess it is. But it leads to lots of unexplored territory as well, and would be a complete non-starter with the current Supreme Court even if it didn't.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

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    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    In anticipation of all the exciting upcoming SCOTUS news on this topic, here's a small update on NC's shenanigans:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/cour...al-gerrymander
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  8. #8
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

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    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    PA to go back to the drawing board:

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/pa...-20180122.html
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  10. #10
    Local talking head LittleFuzzy's Avatar
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    State court imposed a map on PA.

    And I figured you might be interested in this, Aimless.
    Five Thirty Eight
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

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