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Legal News
29 Jun 2015
by Devin Montgomery

The US Supreme court on Monday ruled [opinion, PDF] 5-4 in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission [SCOTUSblog materials] that the Elections Clause [text] of the US Constitution permits the state of Arizona to adopt a commission to draw congressional districts. At issue was a proposition [materials] passed … [read more]


Legal News
19 Jun 2015
by Dominic Yobbi

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday ruled [opinion, PDF] 9-0 that statements made by children to their teachers regarding possible abuse may be used as evidence at trial, even if the child does not testify in court. In Ohio v. Clark [SCOTUSblog materials] the court decided that … [read more]


Legal News
8 Jun 2015
by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court [official website] granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in three cases Monday. In Shapiro v. Mack [docket; cert. petition, PDF] the court will hear a challenge to the Three Judge Court Act [28 USC § 2284], which requires the convening of a three-judge district court to decide … [read more]


Legal News
26 May 2015
by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court [official website] agreed Tuesday to rule in a major voter equality case, noting jurisdiction [order list, PDF] in Evenwel v. Abbott [docket; jurisdictional statement, PDF]. The question presented is: "whether the 'one-person, one-vote' principle of the Fourteenth Amendment creates a judicially enforceable right ensuring that the … [read more]


Legal News
18 May 2015
by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] 5-4 Monday in Comptroller v. Wynne [SCOTUSblog materials] that Maryland's personal income tax scheme violates the dormant Commerce Clause [Cornell LII backgrounder]. The question before the court was whether the US Constitution prohibits a state from taxing all the income of … [read more]


Legal News
20 Apr 2015
by Alison Sacriponte

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday threw out [order list, PDF] a North Carolina court ruling that upheld Republican-drawn electoral districts for state and congressional lawmakers. The case, Dickson v. Rucho [SCOTUSblog materials], was remanded to the Supreme Court of North Carolina [official website] for further consideration … [read more]


Legal News
31 Mar 2015
by Alexandra Farone

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] ordered [order list, PDF] the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia [official website] to review its decision that state lawmakers gerrymandered African-American voters into one congressional district. In October a three-judge panel of the district court ruled [opinion] that the … [read more]


Legal News
25 Mar 2015
by Taylor Gillan

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday vacated [opinion, PDF] a lower court decision that Alabama's redistricting plans did not improperly rely on race to determine voting districts. In a close 5-4 decision, the court found in Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama [SCOTUSblog docket] that the decision … [read more]


Legal News
3 Mar 2015
by Dominic Yobbi

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday heard oral arguments [day call, PDF] in two cases. In Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission [transcript, PDF] the court heard arguments on whether [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] the Elections Clause [text] of the US Constitution permits the state of Arizona … [read more]


Legal News
12 Nov 2014
by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court [official website] hear oral arguments [day call, PDF] in two cases Wednesday. In Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama [transcript, PDF; JURIST report] the court heard arguments on Alabama's redistricting [JURIST backgrounder] plans. The question before the court is "Whether Alabama's legislative redistricting plans unconstitutionally classify … [read more]


Legal News
2 Oct 2014
by Peter Snyder

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] Thursday granted certiorari [order list, PDF] to 11 cases, adding them to the docket for decision for the upcoming term. In the case Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] the court has been asked to rule on the constitutionality … [read more]


Legal News
19 Aug 2014
by Taylor Gillan

[JURIST] A Florida coalition on Monday asked a judge to reject a newly proposed map of the state's congressional districts. The coalition, which includes the League of Women Voters of Florida [advocacy website], is suing [AP report] to change the districts and called the new map "brazenly partisan." The map … [read more]


Legal News
11 Jul 2014
by Jaclyn Belczyk

[JURIST] A Florida judge ruled [opinion, PDF] Thursday that the state's 2012 congressional redistricting [JURIST backgrounder] plan illegally favors Republicans. Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis ordered that two of the state's 27 districts be redrawn, which will likely affect neighboring districts as well. Lewis found that the 2012 plan violated … [read more]


Legal News
2 Jun 2014
by Jaclyn Belczyk

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday agreed to hear [order list, PDF] two cases challenging Alabama's redistricting [JURIST backgrounder] plans, consolidating them for one hour of oral argument. In Alabama Democratic Conference v. Alabama [docket; jurisdictional statement, PDF], the court limited review to question 1: 1(a). Whether, … [read more]


Legal News
22 Jan 2014
by Samuel Franklin

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Tuesday affirmed [order, PDF] the case of Kostick v. Nago without issuing an opinion, upholding the Hawaii state legislature's redistricting plan. The case was on appeal from the US District Court for the District of Hawaii [official website], which ruled [opinion] in … [read more]


Features
18 Oct 2013

The modern implications of redistricting methods are heavily debated. The current system in many states of having single-party controlled legislatures create the districts has led to strong criticism. Many observers cite this as one of the primary reasons for the increasing partisanship within government, both federally and in the individual … [read more]


Features
17 Oct 2013

The House of Representatives consists of 435 members who represent proportional electoral districts of about 700,000 constituents each. Most state legislatures set those district boundaries. Notably, redistricting does not affect US Senate elections, which are statewide. Partisan state legislatures continue to employ redistricting in the hopes that it will send … [read more]


Features
17 Oct 2013

In 1812, the Boston Gazette published an editorial cartoon in response to a redistricting plan signed into law by Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry. The cartoon depicted a portion of Essex County in Massachusetts seemingly haphazardly drawn into a district that would benefit Gerry's Democratic-Republic party. The newly drawn district resembled … [read more]


Features
16 Oct 2013

Redistricting is the act of using census data to assign geographical boundaries for electoral districts. Originating from a simple constitutional mandate designed to ensure equal access to the government, the modern process is often criticized as a tool for political machines. Redistricting is intended to assign political representation in the … [read more]


Legal News
25 Sep 2013
by Matthew Pomy

[JURIST] A three-judge panel for the US District Court for the Western District of Texas [official website] ruled [text, PDF] Tuesday that the Obama administration [official website] would be allowed to join the ongoing challenge to Texas' voter redistricting maps. The ruling will allow the administration to argue for bringing … [read more]

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