Political Gerrymandering and the Courts by Bernard Grofman

By Bernard Grofman

"Specialists in election legislation and politics may want to purchase and take in this publication. i do know of no greater survey of the which means and goal of the court docket in Bandemer and the constitutional terrain it has formed for redistricting within the 90s." - The legislation and Politics overview

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2811, emphasis added). I gather two clear messages from the language of the Supreme Court plurality above: If partisan gerrymandering effects are to be held unconstitutional they must be shown to be (1) serious in nature, and (2) likely to be persistent in d ~ r a t i o n . ~ Justice White, speaking for the Supreme Court plurality, concludes that ”the District Court’s findings do not satisfy this threshold condition to stating and proving a cause of action” (Davis v. Bandemer, p. 2811). We will now focus on the key findings missing from the District Court opinion that allowed the Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of the Indiana plans.

1484). (4) The districting process was completely under the control of Republicans. The governor was Republican as was a clear majority in both houses of the state legislature. from the districting process. The actual decisions were made in conference committee in which no Democrats were voting members (Bandemer, p. 1483). (5)The Indiana Republican Party spent a quarter of a million dollars to obtain the assistance of a Michigan computer consulting firm to aid Republicans in drafting plans. It was these plans that the Republican legislators on the conference committee adopted, and that then became the state’s legislative plans.

2812). Moreover, (30) ”The District Court . . expressly refused to hold that these [1982] results were a reliable predictor of future ones” (Davis v. Bandemer, p. ” Third, the District Court relied unduly on statewide discrepancies between Democratic candidates’ vote share and their seat share without a clear showing that these discrepancies were severe or had significant long-run implications. In particular, (31) The District Court made no finding that “the 1981 reapportionment would consign the Democrats to a minority status in the Assembly throughout the 1980s” (Davis v.

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