Sotomayor on Gerrymandering's Absurdity

"Could you tell me what the value is to democracy from political gerrymandering?
How -- how does that help our system of government?"
"... it's okay to stack the decks so that for 10 years or an indefinite period of time one party, even though it gets a minority of votes, can't get a minor -- gets a minority of votes, can get the majority of seats?"
 -- Justice Sonia Sotomayor

from oral arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Gill v Whitford (on the matter of gerrymandering in Wisconsin)


How the SCOTUS Wisconsin Gerrymander case could go

A. Partisan gerrymander bad! Must gerrymander districts to ensure shoddy proportional representation.
B. Partisan gerrymander bad! Map must provably have no bias.
C. Meh. Whatever. Let whatever party do whatever they want.
D. BS! Puny anti-gerrymandering arguments are so bad we don’t want any courts to listen to them in 2021 either.

I feel like the plaintiffs want A. I feel like this is pretty unlikely. It would be a truly revolutionary decision that would effectively create new rules about how every state needs to redistrict. The Court is loathe to do this. Congress could pass a new 'Voting Rights Act' type law which could do this, if Congress could pass anything useful.

Option B would be the court pulling a rabbit out of a hat. I'm not sure anyone is asking for this except me.

I would mostly bet on C. No change, no big decision either way.

I am afraid of D. The court could make a ruling such that they not only throw out the Wisconsin complaint but throw out the basis and statistical means of the Wisconsin complaint thus removing the basis for future court challenges. I know a lot of people who are betting on playing a good court challenge game in 2021 to battle the expected gerrymanders which come after the next Census. There would be a lot of searching for a new strategy between now and then if SCOTUS actively disqualifies the tests being tried in the Wisconsin case.


Things are in the news now, we can read snippets of the arguments in Court, but there won't be real news until the justices make their decision in the coming months.