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View Diary: Obama issues Executive Order to investigate voter suppression (212 comments)

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  •  Drawing district lines is a "political issue" (4+ / 0-)
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    Adam B, Simplify, Puddytat, VClib

    which means that it is a function of the elective process in the states, and the courts stay out of political issues.  The theory behind "political issues" of all kinds is that it is a discretionary power left to an elected body of government.  

    Constitutionally and legally, there are pretty much only issues with respect to drawing district lines:  (1) You can't violate the "1 person 1 vote" principle of Baker v. Carr, i.e., if the numbers of voters vary wildly from district to district.  You can't have 1000 voters in district A, and 50,000 voters in district B, because then the vote of each person in district A is far more influential/powerful.  (2) You can't draw districts to dilute minority voting strength.  You can't purposely draw districts to make sure that minority voters are spread among so many districts that they don't have a majority anywhere and your state is extremely unlikely to elect a minority candidate (i.e., "racial gerrymandering." That has given rise to the notion of "majority-minority" districts.   Ironically, however, in many states, when  you draw district lines to consolidate minority voters (who overwhelmingly vote Democratic) in one district, you make it far easier to assure that the surrounding districts are going to be solidly Republican.  So, in a way, the gerrymandering that so many here decry is made easier by minority-majority districts that also have wide support among progressives and Democrats.  

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