//  6/29/17  //  Commentary

On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, we discuss a lurking issue with opposing Trump in upcoming elections: partisan gerrymandering. Charlie and Easha take a close look at the case of Gil v. Whitford, a case the Supreme Court recently announced it will take up next fall. In Gil, the Supreme Court may boldly announce a new rule that might seriously curb partisan gerrymandering—or the Court may entirely stop courts from being able to hear these cases at all. As usual, you can listen online below, and subscribe here with any podcast player or here in iTunes.

Charlie and Easha begin [at 1:50] by explaining the theory of partisan gerrymandering, which depends on one party doing something called “packing and cracking” the voters of other parties. This technique allows the controlling party to divvy up the opposition’s voters to gain more seats than it would get if districts were drawn randomly or purely by geography. Charlie and Easha then [at 8:45] dive into the Gil case and explain what happened in Wisconsin that gave rise to the lawsuit. They then move on [at 14:00] to trying to predict what the Supreme Court might do in the case and what the consequences would be of either striking down the Wisconsin map because it was the result of an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander, or of leaving the map as it stands and perhaps even getting courts out of the business of hearing these kinds of cases at all.

The episode closes [at 31:10] with a quick update on the latest action in the Muslim travel ban case.

Also, a note to regular listeners: this episode follows our new format of splitting up interviews from discussion episodes. We hope the new format makes the podcast easier to listen to and share. But please give us feedback if you have thoughts on this or any other aspect of the show.

Please share or provide feedback, and rate us in iTunes. You can find us at @VersusTrumpPod on twitter, or send us an email at [email protected]

Links

  • SCOTUSblog's case page for Gil v. Whitford is here. There, you'll find a great many documents in the case.
  • Here is an article at Salon noting the theory that the Geogia Sixth District was "not drawn" for a Democrat to win.
  • NYU's Brennan Center has a good fact sheet here about the so-called "efficiency gap," which is an important data point in the Gil case.
  • Charlie and Easha discussed Supreme Court cases on gerrymandering called Davis v. BandemerVieth v. Jubelirer, and LULAC v. Perry. (Yes, the "Perry" in that case is the one you're thinking of.)

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