Partisan gerrymandering is and always has been a blot on the U.S. system of politics and government. Until now, the courts have decided that there is nothing they can do about it.
The case now before the Supreme Court arises from our neighbor, Wisconsin, which, after Republicans gained complete control of state government for the first time in a decennial redistricting year, drew a map of state legislative districts that enabled Republicans in the next election to convert 48.6 percent of the statewide vote for State Assembly candidates into 60 of the Assembly’s 99 seats.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked Erin E. Murphy, a lawyer defending the map drawn for this purpose:
Could you tell me what the value is to democracy from political gerrymandering? How does that help our system of government?
According to the New York Times coverage of today’s oral arguments, Murphy replied that gerrymandering
produces values in terms of accountability that are valuable so that the people understand who isn’t and who is in power.