NPR: Partisan Gerrymandering: How Much Is Too Much?


Partisan gerrymandering is the practice of drawing legislative and congressional district lines to maximize and perpetuate the power of an incumbent political party.


Making the case for judicial oversight of partisan gerrymandering was lawyer Paul Smith, vice president of litigation and strategy at the Campaign Legal Center.

"What the state is asking for here," he said, "is a free pass to continue using an assembly map that is so extreme that it effectively nullifies democracy."


Those cases are already being brought, replied lawyer Smith. "It may be that you can protect the court from seeming political," he said, "but the country is going to lose faith in democracy big time."

The modern gerrymander "is not your father's gerrymander," Smith declared. It is instead gerrymandering on steroids, fueled by computers, new kinds of voter data and a polarized electorate. "If you let this go" without judicial oversight for the outliers, he warned, "in 2020 you're going to have a festival of copycat gerrymandering the likes of which this country has never seen."

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