The Limited Impact of the Court’s Ruling on Gerrymandering

Washington Post:  “Our partisan Congress is a relatively new thing. In the 1970s, there were a significant number of Democrats and Republicans crossing over. But it’s slowly faded, to today, where it doesn’t happen much at all. Here’s that divide illustrated by Pew, with the House on the right.”

“So what if states suddenly adopted redistricting commissions en masse and we got state legislators out of the map-drawing business for good? There would almost definitely be more competitive districts, but perhaps not a ton more. The United States is a country very polarized between rural and urban, after all, and map-drawers’ goal is not to create competitive districts, but rather to create compact ones that bring together similar groups of people. In most areas areas of the country, there is simply no prospect of creating new, competitive districts.”

“So while the Supreme Court’s redistricting decision will be hailed as a sign of progress by good-government types, it’s important to note how limited its effect might be on the coming Congresses — to say nothing of how many states will actually join the few who have already adopted such commissions.”

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