This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Supreme Court Rules That North Carolina Did Indeed Gerrymander Two Districts

The U.S. Supreme Court has just ruled that North Carolina did indeed gerrymander two Congressional Districts in that state in a racially biased manner. The NYTimes has the story:
The Supreme Court on Monday struck down two North Carolina congressional districts, ruling that lawmakers had violated the Constitution by relying too heavily on race in drawing them. The court rejected arguments from state lawmakers that their purpose in drawing the maps was not race discrimination but partisan advantage. Election law experts said the ruling would make it easier to challenge voting districts based partly on partisan affiliations and partly on race.
This case confirmed an earlier Federal Court ruling on the case, and that is good news for how the Courts are thinking about these issues. You will recall that in January of this year a panel of three Federal judges ruled that Texas had gerrymandered some of its legislative districts, and Wisconsin was found guilty of the same charges back in November.

In all of these cases the states have argued that the mapping was done on the basis of party lines (which, it turns out, is legal) not race. The Courts have rejected those arguments and found that race was the issue. 

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