June 29, 2006 |
The Supreme Court yesterday upheld most of a controversial plan that drew new lines for Texas congressional districts, saying that nothing about it violated the Constitution. Texas Republicans had redrawn the map mid-decade and in ways that gave their party a large electoral advantage. The 7-2 decision cleared the way for states to redraw political maps just about any time they want to. It also failed, as the court has for years, to set legal limits on political gerrymandering, the drawing of district lines for partisan ends.
December 7, 2009
LAST MONTH, Rep. John Perzel was charged with 82 counts of fraud, conspiracy, and theft for his illegal use of tax dollars for political activity. However, his real power play - manipulating the redistricting process to protect himself - was completely legal. In 2000, Perzel experienced something rare for an incumbent politician: he almost lost. Two years later, he won by more than 14,000 votes. His trick was not winning over the voters who had supported his opponent, but something much simpler: He redrew his legislative district to include more registered Republicans.
February 3, 2012
A Latino advocacy group filed suit Thursday to prevent Pennsylvania state district maps drawn in 2001 from being used in the next election. "The 2001 legislative district lines do not reflect the demographic changes that have occurred in the last 10 years," said Juan Cartagena, president and general counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, which filed the lawsuit. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court voted, 4-3, last week to reject proposed district lines approved by a bipartisan legislative commission.
January 25, 1986 |
Last year, as Senate Minority Whip John H. Arnold was about to settle on a new house in suburban Wilmington, his Republican colleagues were pushing legislation that extended the boundaries of his district to include the new home. Just how much of a coincidence this was has been a matter of debate since the bill became widely publicized last summer. But the controversy has been revived in the legislature this year, and Democrats say it could end with an unanticipated result.
July 11, 2012
Montgomery County Commissioners Chairman Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, and seven other local plaintiffs filed an appeal Monday opposing the state's latest Republican-drawn redistricting plan. The most recent maps - released June 8 - would divide Montgomery County into eight Senate and 19 House districts, none of which lies entirely within the county, and cut district lines through several townships and boroughs. The plaintiffs called the plan "overtly political" and argued that it violates a state constitutional mandate to keep counties and cities together in one representative district "unless absolutely necessary.
March 4, 2011 |
New Jersey Chief Justice Stuart Rabner on Thursday appointed Rutgers University political scientist Alan Rosenthal as the tiebreaking member of the Apportionment Commission, which is remapping the state's 40 legislative districts. The commission's five Republican and five Democratic members said they could not make a deal on where to draw district lines. Once they declared an impasse, Rabner was able to name Rosenthal, whose involvement both sides agreed to months ago. Rosenthal must come up with the new districts by April 3, before candidates' filing deadlines in the June 7 primary for all 120 legislative seats.
December 16, 2011
Once again turning their backs on voters, Pennsylvania lawmakers are ramming through a new map of congressional districts that stretches boundaries and splits communities to protect incumbents. The legislature never gave voters a credible chance to have real input into who will represent them. Voters wouldn't have been so marginalized were there a genuine bipartisan process that required their participation. The most disjointed district protects freshman U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan (R., Pa.)
April 17, 2011
Maybe they should change the name for gerrymandering - the practice by which politicians carve out districts to help incumbents get reelected - to phillymandering. Most history books trace the schemes to 1812, when Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry signed a law creating a district that looked like a salamander. However, Azavea, a software company that analyzes voting districts, noted in a 2010 study that Pennsylvania provided an even earlier example - in 1709, when politicians in Bucks, Chester, and then-separate Philadelphia County conspired to draw legislative districts that stole representation from the city of Philadelphia.
November 1, 2001
Philadelphia City Council, which has been in the hot-tempered throes of redrawing the map that determines Council districts, is closing in on a compromise that makes sense. The latest proposed map, which would replace one successfully vetoed by Mayor Street in his never-ending war of wills with Council, will include more Latino residents in the Seventh District, which snakes from Kensington into the Lower Northeast. This map shows a recognition of the city's growing Latino population and the need to make sure its views and needs are represented on City Council.