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SCOTUS Refused to Take On Partisan Gerrymandering. Time for Legislators to Step Up
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SCOTUS Refused to Take On Partisan Gerrymandering. Time for Legislators to Step Up

Alex Tausanovitch argues that, in light of the U.S. Supreme Court neglecting to tackle gerrymandering, the responsibility falls to lawmakers in Congress and state legislatures.

Last week, the Supreme Court delivered some bad news for American democracy. In a 5-4 opinion, the five justices in the majority found that partisan gerrymandering was an issue “beyond the reach of the federal courts.” In contrast, Justice Elena Kagan wrote on behalf of the four dissenters that the partisan gerrymanders at issue “debased and dishonored our democracy” and “deprived citizens of the most fundamental of their constitutional rights.”

The good news is that gerrymandering can still be fixed — by state legislatures or by Congress. States currently determine how all districts are drawn, but Congress could also set standards for federal districts, because the Constitution grants Congress wide latitude to regulate federal elections. In other words, the Supreme Court’s decision, though lamentable, is not the last word in the fight against gerrymandering.

The above excerpt was originally published in Morning Consult. Click here to view the full article.

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Authors

Alex Tausanovitch

Director, Campaign Finance and Electoral Reform