Publication of census redistribution data: what you need to know

In 2019, the tribunal de grande instance ruled that partisan gerrymandering was beyond the reach of federal courts , leaving such claims ...


In 2019, the tribunal de grande instance ruled that partisan gerrymandering was beyond the reach of federal courts, leaving such claims to be debated at the state level. Gerrymandering aimed at diluting the voting power of minorities is still illegal under section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, but experts fear that it is now possible to disguise a racial gerrymander as a partisan.

The removal by the 2013 decision of the preclearance requirement from Article 5 of the Voting Rights Act was of greater concern to voting rights groups. While preclearance has done little to prevent any gerrymandering, experts argue that it has created a deterrent effect and that its absence this year opens the door to abuse.

“I am often up late at night, unable to sleep, wondering how aggressive some of these states could be in rescinding Section 5 protections that are no longer in effect,” said Jonathan Cervas, a postdoctoral fellow . at Carnegie Mellon University studying gerrymandering. “And I can imagine that a a particularly aggressive legislature, where it benefits them, may not draw minority districts. “

As Republican maps are drawn, Democratic and Civic rights watchdogs will be particularly scrutinizing them for two gerrymandering tactics commonly referred to as cracking and wrapping. Cracking divides a minority community into many different neighborhoods to lessen its impact, and is often a fear in cities. The wrap combines many minority voters in a single district, diluting their overall voice in a state, and is more commonly tried in rural areas.

While diluting minority community votes remains illegal, Cervas said without preclearance such tactics could be used anyway, and it was increasingly unlikely that the resulting legal challenges would be resolved. in time to affect the 2022 elections.

Aware of the timeline, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a group founded by former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., has already started advocating in Louisiana, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

Kelly Ward Burton, the group’s president, said he was not ready to wait. “If and when they gerrymander, which is what we expect from them, we will be ready to sue them,” she said. “We will use all legal tools at our disposal, which range from federal litigation to state litigation based on state law.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Publication of census redistribution data: what you need to know
Publication of census redistribution data: what you need to know
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