Big Cases, Retirement Rumors as Supreme Court Nears Finish

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Conservatives would dearly love to see one of their own replace him - which is why liberals are expected to mount a titanic battle to prevent that. Several studies have suggested Maryland - where Democrats have turned a 2-1 advantage in voter registration into a House delegation with seven Democrats and one Republican - has one of the most gerrymandered congressional maps in the nation.

In January 2017 Microsoft won that case after the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in NY was split 4-4 in a vote, leaving an earlier July decision in place, meaning the Justice Dept. could not force Microsoft to turn over customer data stored on servers outside the US.

Walker and legislative Republicans decided that one of their top priorities for their first session in 2011 would be to draw new legislative district lines that would perpetuate the Republican majorities. A lower court decided past year that Wisconsin's voting districts were drawn up with the goal of strengthening the Republican Party, and ordered the state to re-draw the districts. Certainly in Wisconsin, the GOP acted out of blatantly self-serving motives. The Wisconsin case provides the opportunity for the justices to consider that question. He casts it as critical to deterring terror attacks in the United States.

The end of the Supreme Court term looms, and with it the prospect - the terrifying prospect - of a retirement.

John Groen, executive vice president and general counsel of the Pacific Legal Foundation, which took the Murrs' case for free and got the Supreme Court to hear it, called the decision unfortunate for all property owners.

In Wisconsin, a divided panel of three federal judges ruled in November that the state's 2011 Assembly maps were unfairly drawn to favor Republicans, less than half the statewide vote but - because of this gerrymandering - holding 60 of the Assembly's 90 seats.

Rendering Democratic votes less potent in this way violated the equal protection clause, Democrats argued.

Yet statistics are notoriously open to interpretation.

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Cosby has said he gave Constand the cold and allergy medicine Benadryl before their sexual encounter at his home in 2004. She called one of Cosby's vocal supporters as "horrendous", but then amended her statement, calling him "uninformed".

Most of the attention to this case in the national press has focused on the potential impact of a ruling against Wisconsin on Democratic candidates' chances of winning more House districts after the next round of redistricting, following the 2020 census. In Texas, however, racial and partisan gerrymandering are essentially the same thing. In the past, the Supreme Court has viewed political gerrymandering as distasteful, but not illegal.

Kennedy said that "no single test" is determinative of which regulations are sufficiently onerous to deserve compensation by the state. In past cases, he conceded that there might be such a thing as unconstitutionally extreme partisan districting, but never actually identified an example. Its decision in Gill v. Whitford will determine whether the Court intrudes into the realm of partisan gerrymandering, a "political thicket" into which previous justices have feared to tread.

In its futility, it could prove corrupting.

Now that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case, what happens next?

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But some things we agree on: We both love our home state, Wisconsin, where we have had long careers in public service, including having led our state Senate.

To repeat: Partisan districting may fuel public cynicism about politics. Otherwise, they will "invite the losers in the redistricting process to seek to obtain in court what they could not achieve in the political arena".

It is no big leap to conclude that a map in which one party has dramatically more "wasted" votes than another, on objective - a map designed so that a 55 percent vote for one party results in a remarkably different outcome from a 55 percent vote for another - offends the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection and possibly free-speech rights, too, given that gerrymandering effectively punishes certain voters for their past political choices.

Some things may be just as risky to democracy as a redistricting process constantly embroiled in partisan politics.

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