gerrymander

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gerrymander

(jĕr`ēmăn'dər, gĕr–), in politics, rearrangement of voting districts so as to favor the party in power. The objective is to create as many districts as possible in areas of known support and to concentrate the opposition's strength into as few districts as possible, and extremely irregular boundary lines are sometimes necessary to obtain the results desired. The term has also been used to describe the similar creation of voting districts to favor the election of a candidate from a specific racial or ethnic group. The U.S. Supreme Court has placed (1964) the vague limit of "compact districts of contiguous territory" on such apportionment schemes, and also has reversed redistricting where there is evidence of racially based gerrymandering. However, in 2019, the Court narrowly ruled that federal courts had no consitutional or legal authority or standards for intervening in cases of partisan gerrymandering. A number of state courts, however, have ruled that patently partisan gerrymandering violates the state constitution. The origin of the term, though by no means the origin of the practice, was in such an arrangement made by the Massachusetts Jeffersonians when Elbridge GerryGerry, Elbridge
, 1744–1814, American statesman, Vice President of the United States, b. Marblehead, Mass. He was elected (1772) to the Massachusetts General Court, where he became a follower of Samuel Adams, who enlisted him in the colonial activities preceding the
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 was governor.

Bibliography

See E. C. Griffith, The Rise and Development of the Gerrymander (1907, repr. 1974).

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gerrymander

political chicanery aimed at acquiring votes. [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 199]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Nearly a decade later, Republicans still control every legislative chamber in heavily gerrymandered states like Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
Georgia's redistricting in 2002 gives a nice example of how gerrymanders can fall apart in the first year of implementation.
After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down the gerrymander as violating the Pennsylvania Constitution and redrew the district lines, Democrats emerged from the 2018 elections with nine U.S.
In Wisconsin, a federal judicial panel invalidated the state Assembly districts as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander in 2016.
The greater the divergence between the parties' seat shares for the same (counterfactual) vote share, the larger a district plan's partisan bias, and the more gerrymandered the plan.
gerrymander. (15) They lost on a motion to dismiss, for failure to state
He insisted that "new technologies may produce new methods of analysis that make more evident the precise nature of the burdens gerrymanders impose on the representational rights of voters and parties" and therefore facilitate judicial identification of a suitable standard in the future.
This distinction aided the plurality in rejecting Justice Stevens' view that political gerrymanders can be analyzed under the same judicial standard used in racial gerrymander cases.
The district resembled a salamander, and the Gerrymander came from putting the two words together.
The political markets theory's focus on noncompetitive elections would defy this effort and lead to the invalidation of almost all federalism-reinforcing gerrymanders. (65) Factoring partisan gerrymandering's federalism potential into the analysis shows us that per se rules would not work.