Supreme Court to rule on how election districts are drawn

If decided correctly, this case could be absolutely crucial to restoring a level playing field, especially in state legislatures and the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Supreme Court announced Monday morning it will take up the most important gerrymandering case in more than a decade.

The justices regularly are called to invalidate state electoral maps that have been illegally drawn to reduce the influence of racial minorities by depressing the impact of their votes. This would be an unprecedented move for the Supreme Court, which has never denounced a legislative map based on partisanship. With Gov. Scott Walker leading Wisconsin, Republicans have enjoyed complete control of state government since the maps went into effect in 2012.

Burden said that if the Supreme Court overturns the lower court panel's decision, it could be a long time before another partisan gerrymandering case lands at its doorstep.

Redistricting litigation is by no means a rarity, regardless of how far removed a case may be from the last decennial census or even if the boundaries are actually enforced at the time. That has left those in power - sometimes Republicans and sometimes Democrats - free to redraw lines to their own advantage. "I didn't write the plan", he said.

"They were really fairly effective at being able to create a map that advantaged them, and they did it pretty much out of sight of the public as well, so that's caused some consternation", Leckrone said.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt urged the Supreme Court last week to accept the revised funding formula and injection of about $293 million in state aid over the next two years as compliant with the Kansas Constitution's mandate to provide suitable education to all children.

"Partisan gerrymandering of this kind is worse now than at any time in recent memory", said Paul Smith, a lawyer for the voters who challenged the map. If the state wins, there'll be no need for new districts.

The court recently struck down some congressional and state legislative districts in North Carolina because they used voters' racial composition to maximize Republicans' political advantage.

But Walker, who signed the maps into law in 2011, argued at a stop in Wausau that Republicans had been winning legislative races not because of the maps but because "common-sense conservative reform works", according to WSAW-TV. In packed districts, the efficiency gap considers all of the votes over 50 percent-that is beyond those needed to get a candidate elected-to be superfluous, or "wasted"; and in cracked districts, all votes for the losing party are deemed wasted.

Trevor Potter, president of the Campaign Legal Center, who has worked on behalf of Republican candidates such as U.S. Sen.

Wisconsin has been dealing with the problem of their district lines for several years.

The court set an expedited schedule Monday for its review. The court in a separate order delayed the drawing of new state Assembly district boundaries. The result is that while Republicans won only a minority of the statewide vote - 48.6 percent - they captured a 60 of 99 seats in the state Assembly.

Latest News