In the first decade of the twentieth century, political party operatives have manipulated the boundaries of congressional districting maps to an unprecedented extent in the interest of gaining partisan advantage. The judiciary, led by a fractured Supreme Court, has refused to intervene, holding claims of unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering nonjusticiable for want of a workable judicial standard. The epidemic of partisan gerrymandering has harmed the electoral process in ways that mirror the harm caused by legislative malapportionment prior to the 1960s. In that decade, the Court assertively invoked the Equal Protection Clause to effect reapportionment and bring congressional districting maps in line with updated population patterns. This Note revisits the reapportionment cases, examines the political and jurisprudential context at the time they were decided, and posits that well-reasoned decisions by the Court that correct a breakdown in the democratic process will gain public acceptance over time and strengthen the legitimacy of the Court. This is the lesson of the reapportionment cases.
Hindsight Is 20/20: Revisiting the Reapportionment Cases to Gain Perspective on Partisan Gerrymanders,
57 Duke Law Journal
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/dlj/vol57/iss5/3