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Michael Li @mcpli
, 13 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
Partisan gerrymandering is returning to SCOTUS. A quick look at what the cases the Supreme Court agreed to hear are all about.… #fairmaps #ncpol 1/
A few more thoughts on the North Carolina partisan gerrymandering cases - or more specifically the facts. #fairmaps #ncpol 2/
Although some are skeptical about what the Supreme Court will do in the partisan gerrymandering cases it took today (and not without justification, especially given Justice Kennedy’s retirement), it’s important to remember how unusual the facts of NC are. #fairmaps #ncpol 3/
For starters, in contrast to other cases where there is a factual battle over why maps ended up looking the way they did, in NC, there isn’t a question - Republicans said it. Out loud in public. On the floor of the legislature. #fairmaps #ncpol 4/
North Carolina’s 2011 congressional map, which had been thrown out by courts as a racial gerrymander, also had been a pretty effective partisan gerrymander, giving Rs a 10-3 congressional advantage in a state that is nowhere close to being that Republican. #fairmaps #ncpol 5/
When ordered to redraw the map in 2016, Rs said fine because of racial gerrymandering but we will not consider any map that does not have 10 GOP districts. They said it. They wrote it into the formal criteria (yes, really). #fairmaps #ncpol 6/
And the maps worked as intended. Producing a 10-3 map even in a wave election like 2018 (with an asterisk by NC-9) despite the fact that Ds won nearly half the vote. As the chart below shows, that’s entirely predictable given the spreading out of GOP voters. #fairmaps #ncpol 7/
To be sure, the 2016 map (below) was a little bit less effective of a partisan gerrymander than the 2011 racial gerrymander (above) - because black voters weren’t packed into districts - but it still has proven remarkably effective. #fairmaps #ncpol 8/
In short the facts of North Carolina are so stark that it is hard to see the Supreme Court doing what it has done before and punting. In fact, they fit squarely into the hypo asked by Justice Kennedy at both the WI & MD cases last term. #fairmaps #ncpol 9/
That hypo asked what the result would be if a state had a law that required maximizing a map in favor of one party over the other. The lawyers for both WI & MD agreed that would be a problem. So did Justice Alito and CJ Roberts. #fairmaps #ncpol 10/
Well, that fact hypo IS the story North Carolina’s 2016 congressional map. #fairmaps #ncpol 11/
Now, the court yet could walk away completely from the subject of partisan gerrymandering. But it is hard to see it punting. So in a lot of ways, NC is a decisive showdown. #fairmaps #ncpol 12/
And with another round of redistricting approaching, it’s an important one. Because one of the reasons that the North Carolina gerrymander occurred in the first place is because many took the court’s deadlock in Vieth/LULAC as a signal there were no limits. #fairmaps #ncpol 13/
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