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Kennedy's retirement could threaten efforts to end partisan gerrymandering



Voters and Democrats, who in recent years have been the most disadvantaged by Gerrymanderers, say they will continue the struggle by other means. The National Democratic Redistricting Committee, headed by former President Barack Obama and its Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., has targeted political offices in a dozen states this year in an effort to ensure democratic control of government buildings before the next round 2021. The group has also filed complaints of racial Gerrymander from House districts in Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana, and is now attempting electoral reforms.

The group and its affiliates have been collecting $ 29 million since January 201

7. "This is a battle to lose, it's not about losing the war," said Kelly Ward, executive director of the group. "There are many fronts in this war, and we intend to fight at all."

However, one of the most promising anti-Germander efforts could also be among the most vulnerable. Election initiatives to reduce or eliminate political control over redistribution will be held in November in front of at least four electoral constituencies, possibly even six. Six other states already have independent reorganization bodies; Citizen support for new commissions seems to be strong in some states.

But the judges agreed that such measures are constitutional. Again, the withdrawal of Judge Kennedy may prove crucial.

In 2015, the Supreme Court dismissed an application from Arizona's Republican-led legislature that the constitution gave it sole authority over redistribution and that a campaign initiative relocated the task of an impartial civic commission was illegal. Judge Kennedy joined the four liberals of the court in the 5-4 ruling. Chief Justice Roberts wrote the objection to the conservative wing of the court

"This case has actually been done by Justice Roberts," said Richard L. Hasen, law professor and suffrage expert at the University of California-Irvine. "It was one of the more energetic objections he wrote." In a court in which conservative hardliners dominate, he and others said that the constitutionality of citizen settlement commissions could get a second and less favorable appearance.

The next legal challenge for Partisan Gerrymander is likely to come from North Carolina next year, where a jury of three judges decided in January that the state's 13 municipalities were an unconstitutional partisan Gerrymander


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