Boots & Sabers

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2232, 18 Jun 18

SCOTUS Sends Wisconsin Redistricting Case Back to Lower Court

Great news. It seems that the court has set an almost insurmountable standard for plaintiffs to prove injury.

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously ruled the plaintiffs lack standing in Wisconsin’s nationally watched gerrymandering case — but in an unusual move, it agreed to send the case back to a lower court for further argument.

The unanimous decision in the case, known as Gill v. Whitford, does not resolve a challenge to the legislative maps the Republican-controlled Legislature drew under tightly controlled secrecy in 2011.

But it does end the plaintiffs’ hopes that a judge could order Wisconsin’s legislative boundaries to be redrawn in time for the 2018 elections. Federal judges ordered that last year after ruling the maps were unconstitutional.

In a separate unsigned opinion, the court also did not side with Maryland Republicans who challenged a single congressional district on partisan grounds. Another case involving challenges to North Carolina’s 13 congressional districts may address some of the standing issues in Wisconsin.

In the Wisconsin case, the court said the plaintiffs, a group of registered Democrats, failed to demonstrate they had a personal stake in the outcome.

“It is a case about group political interests, not individual legal rights,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority. “But this Court is not responsible for vindicating generalized partisan preferences. The Court’s constitutionally prescribed role is to vindicate the individual rights of the people appearing before it.”

But rather than dismiss the case entirely, the court ruled 7-2 to send the decision back to the district court “so that the plaintiffs may have an opportunity to prove concrete and particularized injuries using evidence — unlike the bulk of the evidence presented thus far — that would tend to demonstrate a burden on their individual votes.”


2232, 18 June 2018


  1. steveegg

    They’ll simply round up 98 Democrats (they’ll leave Assembly District 19 and the basic shape of Senate District 7 alone because the East Siders don’t want to be in a majority-minority district) to show a “burden” on their individual votes.

    Then, when it comes back to SCOTUS, after they rule for the Rats in North Carolina, it will be a 6-3 or 7-2 win for the Rats.

  2. dad29

    That will take a while.  More time during which we can purchase ammo.

  3. Kevin Scheunemann

    I don’t even understand the bitch here. The districts are perfect.

    Why would one want to interrupt greatest prosperity WI has ever seen?

  4. Owen

    I don’t know how they prove it, Steveegg. If I live in a lefty district and “my guy” never wins, am I disenfranchised? If that’s the case, then every person would be entitled to a personal representative. Being in the political minority in any particular district doesn’t violate one’s rights.

  5. jjf

    How could they prove “it”?  What’s “it,” Owen?  That the WisGOP connived to stack the deck in their favor for the next decade, using the latest technology?

    I think we need more transparency about how the new maps were drawn. It’s clear the WisGOP wanted to hide what they were doing. They went off-site.  They hired outsiders and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars. They erased hard drives. They pressured even the legislators of their own party to sign confidentiality agreements to refrain from disclosing anything they knew, in direct opposition to the open records law. They gave memos to their own party members that warned them that public statements might differ from facts they might know.

    They were clearly doing something unpopular, misleading the public, and to this day we have no explanation of their motives for the lines they drew.

    No wonder this makes Dad29 so hot and bothered that he needs more ammo.

  6. steveegg

    Proof has nothing to do with it.  It’s all about a desperate desire by the Left to dominate everybody and everything by every means possible, especially where they are rejected.

  7. Merlin

    The lefties do seem increasingly anxious about the diminishing ability of their black-robed representatives to legislate from the bench.  Just an observation.

  8. Pat

    I don’t see this as a right or left issue. Politicians should not be allowed to pick who votes for them. It should be the citizens who pick the politicians.

  9. Le Roi du Nord

    “Proof has nothing to do with it.”

    That pretty much says it all.

  10. Jason

    >They went off-site.

    They just followed the Dummycrat’s example when it was time to vote on Act 10.

    That’s all that’s needed to break the “blue wave” in Wisconsin. Remind the voters who fled the state like whipped little bitches just a few years ago.

  11. jjf

    Here’s what I think they did. They used the best info they had from the party databases of likely voters. They had software that combined it with GIS info. They had an algorithm that optimized several goals. Maximize the likely vote difference. Protect a few seats. They could override the calculated borders with the usual f-you’s that kick some Democrat out of their own district and force them to sell their home and move their family, you know, because they’re about family values. They drew lines up cul-de-sacs and carved out individual homes. They optimized for particular results. The consulted with the national GOP just to make sure everything helped at that level, too.
    Or as Stevegg put it, “It’s all about a desperate desire [..] to dominate everybody and everything by every means possible, especially where they are rejected.”
    But it’s just so gosh-darn hard to explain how and why they did it!  No GOP insider will release the slightest tidbit that could let the public know what they actually tried to do.
    This isn’t a partisan issue. It’s a problem with the way we draw districts. I have no doubt that the next set of district lines will be drawn in an even more disturbing way if we have the Senate and Assembly dominated by any single party.
    Do you think the next round of lines won’t use some Cambridge Analytica-style data that incorporates what the party knows about you from Facebook and credit card statements and your Pick ‘n Save affiliate card?
    I’d think that any principle-above-party, small-government person would want to limit this power.  Other states have changed their methods.  Technology makes it possible to draw stacked districts in an automated fashion far beyond what any past politician ever imagined.  Just look at the old lines.  Way too straight.  They didn’t have the time or the manpower or the data to do anything else.

  12. jjf

    Let’s stay on topic, Jason.  Tell me the motivations and goals of the WisGOP when it came to drawing new lines.  Show your work.  By “off-site” of course I meant that they hid the work in the offices of a WisGOP-friendly law firm.

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