Top US court wrestles with immigration bond hearing dispute

Supreme Court hears gerrymandering case stemming out of Wisconsin

Some believe Pennsylvania needs to address the way congressional districts are drawn in the state before the 2018 Election, while others want to take a wait and see approach to follow the Supreme Court's lead.

Smith responded: "Well, I don't think there's anything unusual about using the First Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment to regulate the abusive management of state elections by state government".

The Supreme Court opened a high-profile term earlier this week with a case about employees' rights that could affect an estimated 25 million workers.

Kennedy asked questions only of the lawyers defending the map drawn by Wisconsin's Republicans.

In 2010, after 40 years of Democratic dominance, Republicans gained control of the legislature and governor's office. It must be because the Supreme Court preferred the Democrats over the Republicans. They sued the state, arguing that its partisan gerrymander was so extreme that it violated their First Amendment rights to association and free speech and the "one person, one vote" principle enshrined in the Fourteenth Amendment's equal-protection clause. "And it may be that you can protect the Court from seeming political, but the country is going to lose faith in democracy big time because voters are going to be like ― everywhere are going to be like the voters in Wisconsin and, no, it really doesn't matter whether I vote". As a result, the party favored by a minority of voters can attain and hold a permanent majority.

This time, Smith said in representing the Wisconsin voters, there are good ways to measure when one party gives itself an unfair edge in creating districts. According to legend, when a political opponent described the shape of one of the districts as resembling the shape of a salamander, a colleague replied, "No, it looks more like a Gerrymander". Armed with census data, Republican lawmakers drew districts to maximise their political advantage. The Brennan Center for Justice found that Republicans have a "durable majority" of 16-17 seats in the House, mostly in seven states where Republicans drew the district lines. The practice takes its name from early 19th-century Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry, who developed a freakish redistricting plan to keep his political cronies in power.

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"The challengers seemingly agree. that a key question in the dispute now before the Supreme Court is whether there is an identifiable and manageable test for partisan gerrymandering", Howe wrote.

A similar case is brewing in Maryland, but it was brought by Republicans. Ironically, however, a ruling in their favor could help the GOP in the next round of redistricting.

Republicans argue that the Wisconsin map reflects the fact that Democrats have packed themselves into cities, while Republicans are better distributed across the state.

The court said it will not provide live audio of the highly anticipated argument, despite a request from several members of Congress to Chief Justice John Roberts.

"Gerrymandering is distasteful", conservative Justice Samuel Alito said.

Does the Court now have the tools to ascertain a party gerrymander that Justice Kennedy said was needed to outlaw partisan gerrymandering? Under the Plaintiffs' theory, any voter, anywhere in any state, could complain that his or her vote was diminished by not being granted the right to be counted proportionally with other like-minded voters in the state to elect a proportional number within the legislature. Both Gorsuch and Roberts noted that jurisdiction in redistricting cases is mandatory, not discretionary, with the Supreme Court. "In the context of partisan gerrymandering, that means that First Amendment concerns arise where an apportionment has the goal and effect of burdening a group of voters' representational rights".

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