Could New District Maps Make This Year’s Midterm Elections the Fairest of Them All?

As the media reports Democratic Party fears of an election bloodbath U.S. House of Representatives districts for the midterm elections look more evenly divided as they’ve been for more than 100 years. Why is this? Some Gerrymandering between the parties of the political spectrum, a bit of aid from the courts and some luck led to the map having roughly equal number of districts that are Republican as well as Democratic.

Extreme Gerrymanders Cancel Out

There’s been a lot written on FindLaw concerning gerrymandering actions that are made by Republicans which are not because of political motives. The past few years, Democrats just haven’t been very aggressive when it comes to gerrymanderingand they weren’t particularly adept in doing it. In 2022, there were some fascinating actions made by Democrats which experts believe could result in an increase of 12 seats within the House of Representatives.

Redistricting, for instance, in New York City included linking Park Slope (which typically votes Democrat) with Staten Island (which leans more towards conservatism). Some experts believe that the move could make it difficult for the city’s sole GOP member, Nicole Malliotakis.

It appears the most extreme redistricting efforts of both parties generally cancelled one another out. Likewise, involvement of the courts led to districts created by commissions and other third-party entities.

What happened when was the Judicial Branch Got Involved

The federal courts are supposed to be the most non-political department within the United States government. However, there are times when political questions occur occasionally, and sometimes frequently (we’re taking a look at the 2020 elections). If a court decides that the case is based on the issue of a “political problem,” they do not take part in the case. The concept of a political question is used for nearly 100 years. It is prominently seen specifically on the Supreme Court’s ruling on Baker v. Carr.

In the case of redistricting that is, it is the Supreme Court has taken the policy of political questions even more. In the year 2019, SCOTUS decided in Rucho v. Common Cause that partisan redistricting raised political issues that courts could not interfere with.

But, they are able to take action when there is a claim of discrimination. For example, in the 1993 case of Shaw v. Reno, the Supreme Court held that a redistricting program that had strange “snake-like” districts involved the gerrymandering of racial groups, and is subject to a rigorous scrutiny by justices.

This is where many of the extremist gerrymandering attempts have come to the end of their road.

This year, decisions by the courts earlier this year, court rulings North Carolina and Pennsylvania undercut several very effective gerrymandering attempts of Republicans. In March this year, it was decided that the Supreme Court refused to block the rulings in these instances, which means that the plans will be in effect in 2022’s election. In the meantime in the meantime, in the meantime, Ohio Supreme Court rejected (for the third time) the plans of the Ohio Redistricting Commission that heavily favoured Republicans.

Democrats were defeated in courtrooms as well. The judge of Maryland has thrown out the map, which contained the term “extreme Gerrymander” that was in their favor three weeks in the past. Legislators could appeal that decision to the state’s supreme court. In a curious twist, the court ruled out of the political question doctrine using a section from Rucho where the Chief Justice John Roberts suggested that “provisions in state statutes as well as state constitutions could provide guidelines and guidelines for courts in state to use.”

It’s possible that we don’t precisely know how these changes to the maps will impact Congress up until the end of November. It appears it’s a equal contest.

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