Category: elections

On Gerrymandering, Supreme Court Decisions Offer Little Clarity

In 1986, a majority of the Supreme Court agreed that partisan gerrymandering may be unconstitutional in certain circumstances. But in that case, and since then, the court has failed to agree on a standard for when partisan gerrymandering crosses the line. This week, that streak continued. In Gill v. Whitford and Benisek v. Lamone the

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What the Supreme Court’s Voting Rights Decision Means for Cities

This week, the Supreme Court held in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute that Ohio’s processes of removing people from the voter rolls does not violate federal law. The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) filed an amicus brief in this case supporting Ohio — and twelve other states maintain their voter rolls using a similar process. For city

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Supreme Court Considers Gerrymandering in Texas

In Abbott v. Perez, a number of persons and advocacy groups challenged the Texas Legislature’s 2011 state legislative and congressional redistricting plan claiming it discriminated against black and Hispanic voters in violation of the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause and the Voting Rights Act. In 2011, a three-judge district court issued a remedial redistricting plan which

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In Benisek v. Lamone, the Supreme Court Confronts Gerrymandering

The challengers to the redistricting of Maryland’s Sixth Congressional District just might win — if the Supreme Court actually decides their case. In Benisek v. Lamone, in 2011, the Maryland legislature needed to move about 10,000 voters out of the Sixth Congressional District to comply with “one-person one-vote.” It moved about 360,000 Marylanders out of the

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Preemption Threatens Economic Development and Innovation

City leaders work every day to grow local ecosystems in their communities that support entrepreneurs. They do this in many ways – attracting and retaining talent, offering support services, and creating vibrant urban places. This work takes place in the urban sphere because innovation thrives in cities. Cities are central to the progress of our

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Supreme Court Weighs Political Apparel Bans at Polling Sites

With the 2018 election just months away, America’s courts have been asked to consider and reconsider every aspect of our democracy. From foreign meddling to paper ballot tracking, it seems no detail is too minute to challenge. Now, the highest court in the country will consider a unique new electoral battleground: Political apparel at polling

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What a Citizenship Question on the Census Would Mean for Cities

There is no question that America’s city leaders share Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s commitment to a full and fair 2020 Census. Census data is vital to cities for uses including regional planning, economic research, public health initiatives, and allocating more than $600 billion in federal funding to state and local governments. But because city leaders understand

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Pennsylvania Will Redraw its Gerrymandered House Districts

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling that the state’s 2011 Congressional redistricting plan constitutes an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. This is the fourth court in a relatively short period of time to rule that partisan gerrymandering may be unconstitutional. In its ruling, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court gave the Pennsylvania General

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Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Legal Challenges to Third Travel Ban

In Trump v. Hawaii, the Ninth Circuit temporarily struck down President Trump’s third travel ban. Because of a Supreme Court order issued in December 2017, however, the third travel ban is currently in effect, regardless of the Ninth Circuit ruling. Now, the Supreme Court has agreed to review the Ninth Circuit decision — and an

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Why The North Carolina Gerrymandering Case Matters

When a three-judge panel struck down North Carolina’s 2016 Congressional redistricting plan, the case received a bit more media attention than the average Supreme Court redistricting case. That’s because it represented the third three-judge panel to strike down a partisan gerrymander — even though the Supreme Court has yet to articulate if and exactly when partisan-driven

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