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April 24, 2016

New York Magazine: The House The GOP Built

By David Daley
New York Magazine
 
In July 2009 Chris Jankowski sat down at his Richmond home with the morning New York Times. It had been eight months since Barack Obama defeated John McCain in the presidential election, capturing Republican stronghold after stronghold and helping to usher in a Democratic supermajority in the Senate. On television and on the front pages of newspapers, pundits had openly…

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April 7, 2016

Associated Press: Ohio’s Kasich Calls For Congressional Redistricting Changes

By Ann Sanner
Associated Press
 
Gov. John Kasich is calling on state lawmakers to consider changing how Ohio draws its congressional districts, emphasizing that gerrymandering should be in “the dustbin of history.”
Kasich’s fellow Republicans, who control the Legislature and subsequently the location of district lines, weren’t exactly swept up by Kasich’s call for action in his…

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April 5, 2016

The Economist: How Redistricting In Virginia Changed Part Of Its Political Landscape

The Economist Blog
The Economist
 
Of 435 seats in America’s House of Representatives, perhaps 36 are considered neither decisively red or nor blue. Another, in the pork-and-peanut belt of southern Virginia, joined them earlier this year, when a federal court re-drew its boundaries to favour a Democrat. The district’s long-time Republican incumbent, Randy Forbes, decided that rather than risk…

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March 20, 2016

Washington Post: Va. Republicans Take Redistricting Fight To The Supreme Court

By Robert Barnes and Jenna Portnoy
The Washington Post
 
The Supreme Court on Monday takes up a long-running political fight about whether Virginia lawmakers redrew the state’s congressional map to protect the commonwealth’s lone African American congressman — or to make sure he was not joined by a second.
The court will consider whether Republican lawmakers packed African American voters into Democratic…

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March 10, 2016

NPR: North Carolina’s Congressional Primaries Are A Mess Because Of These Maps

By Tom Bullock
NPR
 
North Carolina voters are likely to be confused when they arrive at their polling places on March 15. In addition to presidential candidates, voters will see congressional primary candidates on the ballot.
But thanks to a federal court decision, the districts those candidates represent no longer exist and any votes in those races won’t count.
Thanks to three judges, two animal shapes…

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February 15, 2016

Charlotte Observer: Voters To GOP Lawmakers: Fix The Election Maps

By Michael Gordon
The Charlotte Observer
A showdown over North Carolina’s disputed congressional district lines draws closer on Tuesday, a day after hundreds of state residents shared their opinions on a political dispute that has burned for decades.

On Friday, Republican leaders of the state legislature must submit a new election map after a three-judge federal panel ruled that two congressional districts,…

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February 15, 2016

AP: Redistricting Hearings Part of Legislature’s Backup Plan

Associated Press
 
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The General Assembly may have to approve a new map refitting North Carolina’s congressional districts by the end of the week. So lawmakers are taking public comments following a recent federal court ruling striking down some of the boundaries.
A special redistricting committee scheduled seven public hearings Monday, stretching from Asheville to Wilmington.
A…

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February 1, 2016

The Washington Post: Supreme Court Rejects GOP Petition To Block New Virginia Congressional Lines

By Jenna Portnoy
The Washington Post
 
RICHMOND — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied a request from Republican members of Congress to put on hold an election map that gives Democrats a chance to pick up a seat in this year’s election.
The ruling is the latest in a series of decisions triggered last year by a panel of federal judges who said Virginia’s map illegally packed African American voters into…

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January 13, 2016

Brennan Center for Justice: Supreme Court Redistricting Case Is New Front in Voting Wars

By Victoria Bassetti
Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law
 
For the last decade, it’s been all about disenfranchisement via voter ID and other vote suppression tools. But after last year’s Supreme Court revisit of the “one-person, one-vote” principle, disrepresentation is trending.
 
In the lead up to the Supreme Court arguments in Evenwel v. Abbott most commentators…

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January 10, 2016

Daily Kos: A hidden cost of gerrymandering: When even competitive seats are rendered uncompetitive

By Steve Singiser
Daily Kos
 
Last week, we discussed one of the true perils of gerrymandered legislative bodies—the relative paucity of competitive districts where either party enjoys a legitimate chance of victory. Among the most egregious examples: the fact that just eight percentof the state legislative seats in North Carolina are marginal seats, despite the fact that the state was very competitive on…

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