gerrymandering

Updated 7:45 p.m. ET

In a 5-4 decision along traditional conservative-liberal ideological lines, the Supreme Court ruled that partisan redistricting is a political question — not reviewable by federal courts — and that those courts can't judge if extreme gerrymandering violates the Constitution.

The ruling puts the onus on the legislative branch, and on individual states, to police redistricting efforts.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire is a step closer to having its legislative districts drawn by an independent commission, rather than by lawmakers.

On Thursday, the state Senate passed a bipartisan bill that would create a 15-member public body to draw legislative maps.

Sara Plourde; NHPR

Every ten years, states redefine the boundaries that determine congressional and legislative seats, as well as local offices.  This year, a bill in New Hampshire aims to reduce gerrymandering, the practice of configuring lines to gain partisan advantage.  We look at this proposal, and our current political maps, and conversations around gerrymandering nationally.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: January 25, 2019

Jan 24, 2019

Some federal workers in New Hampshire log another week of work without pay as the partial government shutdown continues. Debate continues in Concord over new pieces of legislation, including one that would create an independent commission to draw boundaries for state elections. And we'll have a chat with New Hampshire's first Kid Governor.

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Let's Fix Washington

Sep 18, 2018

Former Congressmen David Jolly, a Republican, and Patrick Murphy, a Democrat, are travelling nationwide as part of their "Let's Fix Washington" initiative.  Jolly and Murphy, who were one-time rivals for a Senate seat, discuss how Congress got to its current state of division and gridlock and how, through bipartisan leadership, the nation’s political systems can function more effectively.  

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says his fight against gerrymandering is a partisan attempt at good governing. Holder was in New Hampshire Friday, promoting what he calls "fair redistricting."

Sara Plourde/NHPR

Last week, the Supreme Court said it will hear a case later this year on partisan gerrymandering—a questionably constitutional practice in which legislators draw lines of voting districts in a way that gives their party a built-in electoral advantage. The Supreme Court has never ruled on partisan gerrymandering, and its decision could have a dramatic impact on the way districts are drawn after the 2020 census.

Pixabay.com

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a limited version of President Trump's travel ban this week, saving broader consideration for the fall.  We cover the legal arguments and look at other high-profile high court cases this term, including First Amendment issues on trademarks and hate speech. 


Urban Strategies via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/gaw1RS

On today's show:

Sara Plourde / NHPR

With every census, states have the chance to re-draw political boundaries based on population changes.  Usually, the legislature controls the process, giving the party in power much greater influence. We're examining how this has affected New Hampshire's voting districts, the balance of power at the Statehouse, and other approaches taken elsewhere.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday weighs an elections case that could dramatically change the way state legislative districts are drawn and could tilt some states in a decidedly more Republican direction.

The federal Constitution is clear. The national government's House of Representatives is to be apportioned based on the total population in each district, and the census is to count each person, whether eligible to vote or not, so that all are represented. The status of state legislative districts, however, is less clear.

Jeff Kubina / Flickr CC

The U.S. Supreme Court has released several landmark rulings recently, but the decisions on same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act upstaged other major cases -- from redistricting to clean air rules to housing discrimination. We discuss those rulings you haven’t heard about and the impact they may have on New Hampshire.