October 3, 2017

Supreme Court Set To Hear Redistricting Case That Could Remake American Politics

By Sam Levine, HuffPpost, 10/3/17

The court has never said whether lawmakers can go too far in drawing electoral boundaries to benefit their political party.

Wendy Sue Johnson has lived in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, for nearly five decades ? and for most of her life, she remembers competitive elections as voters from surrounding rural areas packed in with voters from the town.

Johnson, a 48-year-old lawyer and former teacher who identifies as a Democrat, used to bring in the chairs of both the Republican and Democratic parties to talk to her students.

“It would flip back and forth, so people had to work hard during elections and convince the voters that they were qualified and had the right policies and ideas,” Johnson told HuffPost.

In 2011, that changed.

Following the 2010 census, Wisconsin Republican lawmakers drew new maps for the state Assembly that moved Johnson from her old Assembly district into a new one packed with Democratic voters. It was an attempt to diminish the power of Democratic votes like Johnson’s by concentrating them in a single district and consolidating Republican electoral power elsewhere. The boundary separating Johnson’s new Assembly district from her old one, which is currently represented by a Republican, runs right outside the side door to her house.

Now Johnson is one of 12 Wisconsin voters who are now plaintiffs in Gill v. Whitford, a landmark case the Supreme Court will hear on Tuesday that could put an end to that kind of partisan redistricting….

keep reading at HuffPpost