Title

The silver lining in the Supreme Court gerrymandering decision

Status

Faculty

School

School of Science

Department

Math/Computer Science

Document Type

News

Publication Date

6-22-2018

Publication Title

The Hill

Description

The political news outlet The Hill features the op-ed "The silver lining in the Supreme Court gerrymandering decision," co-authored by Saint Mary’s Mathematics Professor Ellen Veomett and UC Hastings Law Professor Aaron Rappaport, about the Supreme Court’s recent decision not to rule on the high-profile, Wisconsin-based gerrymandering case Gill v. Whitford, sending it back to the lower courts. Veomett and Rappaport commented that while initially disappointing to those who wanted the high court to offer definitive guidance on what constitutes political gerrymandering, the Supreme Court’s decision to punt offers the plaintiffs an opportunity for a do-over, where they can demonstrate they have the standing, meaning their specific voting districts were actually harmed by the state law—which the high court challenged. The decision also allows the plaintiffs the chance to utilize more effective evidence, in particular emerging mathematical research that reveals the impact of partisan gerrymandering on specific voting districts. In keeping with Veomett's concerns regarding voting rights and equity at the polls, the commentary also clearly notes how mathematicians can be allies in detecting gerrymandering and that lawmakers should take the time to heed their advice. Read the op-ed.

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