Last month in Wisconsin, for the first time in three decades—and only the second time in our nation’s history—a federal court ruled the state’s legislative districts unconstitutional on the grounds that they unduly benefit one political party over another.
This isn’t a new issue; after all, "gerrymandering" takes its name from one of the Founders, Elbridge Gerry, who, as governor, approved salamander-like districts in the state of Massachusetts to benefit the Democratic-Republicans.
But over the years, gerrymandering has confounded legislatures and courts, as they have grappled with its impact on our politics and their powers to stop it.
Joining We the People to discuss challenges to gerrymandering and the possibilities for reform are two experts in election law.Nicholas Stephanopoulos is an assistant professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School. Nick is currently representing plaintiffs in the Wisconsin case, Whitford v. Gill.Michael Morley is an assistant professor of law at the Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law. Mike was counsel of record at the Supreme Court for Shaun McCutcheon in the landmark First Amendment case McCutcheon v. FEC; he also wrote about the Elections Clause for the National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution, along with Franita Tolson of Florida State University.
Nick and Michael also joined We the People last year to discuss the Arizona redistricting case heard by the Supreme Court.
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