tv Washington Journal Adam Liptak Discusses Wisconsins Gerrymandering Case CSPAN June 21, 2017 8:32am-9:05am EDT
exploration abroad. >> sunday it -- at 4:00 p.m. unreal america, the united nations film, the palestinian people do have rights. >> violence breeds hatred and retaliation brings further retaliation. and i for a night is often paid at high interest rates in our day and age. reagan's0, president speechwriter and former u.s. ambassador to germany richard byrd recall reagan's 1987 trip to berlin and that speech. >> it was a great applause line and i knew it was authentic ronald reagan. but history, as president obama says, has an arc. celebrate the famous speech if in fact the events of 1989 had not transpired the way they did. schedule, gomplete to c-span.org.
>> "washington journal" continues. from the newptak york times back in our desk. up headline, "justices take gerrymandering based on party." remind our viewers what gerrymandering is and why the case is so important. guest: gerrymandering is drawing legislative districts pretty see maps with funny looking districts. party inn why is the power draws the districts to favor their own party and the question of whether that kind of political gerrymandering, which has gotten very sophisticated, is constitutional, it has never been squarely addressed by the u.s. supreme court. they have never struck down a legislative district as part of gerrymandering. the fact that they are taking a look means we might get, next
term, a big case to be shaved american politics. host: the difference between political gerrymandering and racial gerrymandering? the supreme court has often shut down legislative districts for disadvantaging that is thought to be a problem under the equal protection clause of the voting rights act. racial gerrymander's are any knowledged category. political gerrymandering is not a's supreme court never struck down as a political gerrymander. this may be the next thing in trying to urge it -- inject some supervision and to is now a very sophisticated job state lawmakers do in drawing maps for local legislatures and house of representatives. shut down aave not specific district but have they made it known about the concept of gerrymandering in general? track,they tend to
conservatives tend to take the view, political gerrymandering a bad thing but it is not for the course to supervise. they are not going to get involved in more liberals a get involved and say wait a second, the constitution has something to say about making sure your vote counts. in the middle, as always, is justice anthony kennedy who has said he is not ruling out that maybe there is such a thing as unconstitutional political gerrymandering, but he has not seen the standard that would allow him to know how to distinguish between ordinary politics and something that crosses a constitutional line. host: so not as a prize he could be a key vote. the court decided to take up this week's summit will be at the heart of the matter? guest: in wisconsin, the federal thet did strike down general assembly math as unconstitutional political gerrymandering.
adopting an idea from an article, the court in part based its decision on a mathematical sayry, that challengers here, we have finally got the method where we can figure out how much political gerrymandering is too much. host: the line they can be crossed before you say it is officially political gerrymandering? right. this is to satisfy justice kennedy who wants a standard. there are basically two ways to advantage or party. let's say you are a republican legislature. you can put all the democrats and the district. that means every vote after 51% is wasted. you can spread all the democrats across a lot of districts where republicans have a small minority. meaning every democratic vote is a losing and wasted vote. you add up the wasted votes of democrats and republicans and
you divide each of them by the total number of votes and you get a ratio. if the ratio is over a certain number, i know your eyes are glazing over but it actually makes sense. host: the term known in the world of those who draw the maps, packing and crack. if you have questions about this case or cases around the supreme court as we are kicking down the days, republicans -- host: one more question on the specific wisconsin case. what happened on the map as the supreme court takes up the case? it is obviously going to be a year down the road before a decision comes. guest: it looked like until monday that wisconsin wouldn't have to draw a new math and satisfied its court ruling. but the court stated that
decision, meaning we are frozen in place of the old map is still in place and on this day, we had for vote -- 5-4 vote with liberals in the minority including justice kennedy in the majority. -- hencen early hit the justice kennedy may not be able to get ready to move overall. representing is the challengers in this case? a bunch of good lawyers including small -- paul smith. a leading election lawyer and one of the key gay-rights cases he argued. is up first in brooklyn, new york, democrat. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am 64 years old. this gerrymandering i don't think is a good idea at all. i remember at five years old, i did not know anything about
a five yearand as old, i did not know anything and i thought the color one must be better. donald trump presidency has woken up the core of racism. i'm thankful not all people are racist and not all police are racist. i also want to say i think he is bringing the country down. the person who died in north korea, obama brought 10 people from north korea. if you things he can do better, he has been there since the 20th. how come he did not bring the rest of them? i just have to make this statement and thank you for taking my call. racial gerrymandering you talked about earlier but when did the supreme court really start looking into racial gerrymandering? guest: i am not sure i could give you an exact number but the revolution in the 60's is really what started it. caller: hi.
about thetalk gerrymandering case specifically in voting in general. illegally orvote cast an invalid al it on purpose, i think the fine is $100,000 and five years in prison. ohio, a judge in the case for the presidential election ruled bet the ballot should preserved. the republicans destroyed the ballot anyway. there have been multiple cases kind they have not had any of penalty. is there a penalty for any of the violations that occur? thank you. , and as you doak that, can you also talk about whether there is current balance access before the court? on in theot is going
question. there are fines and penalties that vary by state. some of them are quite severe. a woman in texas was sent institute like 12 years. but they're not, partly because most experts agree that in person voting fraud is very rare. that,are a lot of states in order to control what they fraud, theynt voter have imposed significant restrictions on voting including voter id. methods. there are a lot of challenges to those going on around the country. host: anything we are expected to hear before the end of the current term? guest: no. they had a couple of racial gerrymandering cases but those have been decided. michelle is in wisconsin, line for democrats. good morning. iller: i am calling because know that gerrymandering in wisconsin has really affected minority voters to the point where they have a hard time making their vote count. not only that, with the
gerrymandering, it makes it hard for everyone to vote. it is also making it difficult if you do not like the representative that is representing you in your district, it is hard to vote them out because of the way that they set up their lines, they are pretty much did -- protected. for the next years until this is resolved, voters really don't have a choice in the matter because of the way they set up the lines. it has gotten really out of control in wisconsin. i hope the courts realize this and do something right and make sure the people who vote, make sure their vote counts. thank you for taking my call. guest: it is quite right that lawmakers who in a sense choose their voters, among other things, they try to make sure that they will be elected,
meaning incumbents protect the district and try to make sure the incumbent will be reelected. racial point you make is gerrymandering and partisan gerrymandering are sometimes hard to tell apart. because black voters in particular tend to vote very heavily democratic. courts have a hard time struggling to figure out whether a district that packs a lot of lack voters and simultaneously packs a lot of democratic voters, is a racial gerrymander, a political gerrymander, or some of each. host: the new york times today states that try to take politics out of gerrymandering, focusing on states like california, looking at trends in states like oregon in ohio, oregon as well in that article. if you want to read more about this -- is anything else you
want to touch on? guest: we have come to except we let state legislatures do districting. that is not obvious and it is not how most of the world does it. california has independent redistricting commissions. you put people on and hope on a nonpartisan basis to draw district lines and take account of usual factors. you want to keep the counties together and keep communities together, keep areas together. you want to keep them contiguous . you want to keep them compact. notcould delegate the job to self interested lawmakers, but to an independent commission. host: david is in cedar rapids, iowa, republican, go ahead. in the an article washington post in 2016 about gerrymandering, six of the 10 most gerrymandered states, republican. the remaining four are democrats. north carolina is the most
gerrymandered and the state of maryland is also highly gerrymandered. it would be interesting to get the gentleman's comment regarding the commissions and i'm waiting to see if in 2020 if statemocrats do terminate legislatures, that they in fact go to the commission he or theyd earlier, actually go about doing their own thing with gerrymandering. my view on this is fairly cynical. i don't think either party does it more than the other. republicans control a lot of state governments. you see more of this on the republican side but i do not know if it would be different if the shoe were on the other foot. the supreme court could add decision days at the end of the term. travel ban,he washed so much, headed to the
supreme court, where does that stand and are we expected to have any input or decision from the supreme court before the end of the term? guest: i think we will have word from the court. the briefing ends today. justices have a private conference tomorrow. part of the on some travel ban as soon as tomorrow and i would expect no later than monday. two questions they're looking at , one is do they accept the case and do they set it down for argument? the government wants it argued in october. then there is an important question about what happens in the meantime. the government has also asked that the court at least temporarily reinstates the travel ban, that it stayed the injunctions by the lower courts. it may be as soon as tomorrow, we will hear something about the fate of the travel ban in the short term. this will be a busy couple of days in the court. there a chance the hearing will be expedited question mark october seems like a ways away for something with
so much in the political atmosphere right now but also something the white house has argued is a safety and 630 issue. i completely agree but the trouble administration has taken a curious litigation posture. they need immediate relief, the fate of the nation hangs in the balance and this is a national security emergency, but let's wait to argument. though thoseeven making the request set it down for a special session in june or july, it is not unheard of. it has happened three or four times in the past 50 years that the court has a special session right at the end of the term. the justices have travel plans and summer plans p or i am not sure that it will happen. it might be the wiser horse. if it is as big a deal as the
administration says, it is better to have an answer sooner rather than later. want the answer supplied by happenstance. as a practical matter and that decides the case, you would rather have a decision that actually decides the case. host: about 10 minutes left with adam liptak. go ahead. caller: the problem is crosscheck. every four years, they have a crosscheck problem. they put african-americans, latin americans, and asians, they put them in different states so if you have the same they disqualify your vote and then every two years, because of this gerrymandering, at the state matt -- state level, where i am in north carolina, the supreme court made them redistrict or stop it
because they were pitting african-americans in these be ables so they would to disenfranchise them, so republicans would have an advantage at the statehouses as well as congressional -- host: got your point. two issues. we talked about racial gerrymandering a bit. there are real questions about how to keep roles current and accurate and whether you overcompensate -- overcompensate , but it is true that people move from state to state and died. that is a balance to be struck about how to keep voter rolls accurate and current but not at weeks ends of tonight people the right to vote. host: is there any case on the topic we might hear about before the end of the term of monday? guest: not before the end of the term. host: what are you watching most closely before the end of the
term? guest: a big case about separation of church and it the whether states can decline to support state -- church affiliates even if it is a as popular and uncontroversial as providing rubberized playgrounds. a church playground in missouri, the supreme court is being asked, does the missouri constitution, which says we do not want anything to do with religion in any way, does that violate the federal constitution by disadvantaging the church? this important case has wrought implications about the separations of church and state and there are immigration related cases, the border guard shoots a mexican boy from across the u.s. mexico order and the boy dies on the mexico side. can he bring a claim and can his family bring a claim in american courts? than a question becomes more pressing now that the trump administration is acting up its enforcement procedures, what
about the people held in immigration detention who are seeking asylum and are held for yield -- four years? do they have a right to periodically review to make the case that they should be let up while their cases pending? host: decision days are tomorrow and monday. probably likely that they add one more day next week. host: catherine is waiting in mobile, alabama. democrats line. caller: i would like to say that alabama and mississippi have always had gerrymandering problems. it has been extreme. the problem being when i was young, there is no early voting. the tuesday vote when i was young, businesses were closed. now all businesses are open. this is a way to disenfranchise the poor and working-class because you have to take children to school in the morning and the may have to pick them up and prepare dinner.
you disenfranchise most people. i promise you in alabama and mississippi, the minorities in the females do not approve of all of this, we far outnumber the republican party. the meals men with money is who has troll. since the 1960's, we have had a hard time down here. should care about your families a little more and let get independent commission because if we are going to have this in this country, they need to be fair for everybody and not just some. of the world, voting takes place on weekends. i think the caller is quite right that scheduling voting on tuesdays, it was always done, but stop and think why do you have voting on the day most people are working rather than a day most people are not working? ands an authentic question you might get a different result
as the caller suggests. you might get a different result of some voting on saturday and sunday. host: greg in virginia, independent, go ahead. caller: good morning. two quick questions. of them is how big of a problem is gerrymandering across the country as a whole, and the second question is is there any that shows which party does it more? do the democrats have a tendency to redraw districts more than republicans were to republicans have attended the to redraw districts more than the democrats? do we have any data in that case? host: thanks for the question. guest: it is hard to say.
more, republicans control statehouses and unified state governments than democrats. today, they do it more. we do not know what would happen if the shoe were on the other foot. i do not think there is a fundamental distention between the parties. they want to win elections and they have the tools. if i have them, they will use them. problem across the country? is it just a handful of states? most gerrymandered districts? it varies. people have mentioned north carolina and maryland. but it is commonplace across the country. host: becky is in michigan, democrat, good morning. caller: good morning, guys. up, whyver brings this don't we get people out of this gerrymandering and have a computer do it? who would write the code for the computer program?
caller: excuse me? host: who would write the code? guest: people use computers and computers have exacerbated the problem by making it go house to house to draw the lines and get the people you want out of the district. your first impulse is why don't and dropraw a grid that on top of the state and do it that way? but a lot of factors go into it. districts have to be essentially identical in population size. then you want them to be of somewhat normal shapes. then you want them to follow county lines. the courts have said you can protect incumbents. that is legitimate as a reason to draw the lines. even with the best of intentions, people try to do want to driveyou partisanship out of it entirely, it is very hard to draw the lines. why is protecting incumbency something that has
been allowed? it is the same theory that politics is part of the process and it is not to judge political advantage. really only thing courts have looked at his race. is next, roger, independent. good morning. caller: i have an idea. make a voting, which is probably the most important thing that we have in on a, let's say for example we make a monday on the weekend, monday is a holiday. a national holiday and it is voting only. guest: i think that is a very fine idea. i do not know this for a fact but i'm guessing around the world, either they do it on the weekend in some countries or in other countries they do exactly what you suggest. in california, democrat, good morning. wondering,as just
since county lines, they have their own government and they are already drawn, what would be the drawback to having county lines either district lines? all the counties were precisely one population, that would work and you satisfy one person one vote area but you know they are not. so you have to make allowances for that. kathy, south carolina, democrat. caller: my comment is on the congressional races and the races since last november. is can we be sure there outside of foreign involvement in our races? the young lady arrested, she got as far -- i think the leaks should stop, but she did let us know that in the states, russia get as far as our
state electoral computers or how we vote in our state. sure that the races here on out are not being tempered with? host: got your question. i point out that congressman steve cohen, democrat from tennessee, will join us in the section. we will talk about the russian investigation. you guys will have a lot more expertise than me on this. host: i did want to ask you, with justice gorges -- justice gorsuch now on the court, is there a possibility with some of the hearings that happened on this term being rescheduled so it can be heard with justice gorsuch on the court? there close cases being bumped for the next term? guest: we will find out soon enough. the prospect of the court for
most of the term, and eight member court, it will deadlock 4-4 once or twice with three times, reasonably high. if they deadlocked, what they probably do is set it down for the argument next term starting in october so that all nine members of the court can hear it. host: so they can have that vote say they are deadlocked and then decide at that point to punt it? they don't have to go forward after taking the vote? guest: right. last year there was no prospect horizon, theythe had an equally divided vote and issued no opinion. that happened in the immigration case and a big union case. since they know they have nine this year, the usual thing would be to say we will set it down for re-argument in the fall and let nine people decided. host: what we will see our 5-3 decisions. guest: yes. they have been quite unanimous a lot of the time. it terms out and eight member court, because it does not like the deadlock, will find some
ways to find a decision, though the decision can be so narrow that neither the litigants nor the lower courts get much guidance from it. host: a minute or two left. live for democrats, go ahead. caller: the lady that called earlier complaining about voting on tuesday, managed to vote on tuesday because i made it a priority. we did not have this when i was young. guest: good for you. i think voting is important. you can still ask the question, why do we make it hard? birmingham,s in alabama, line for democrats, go ahead. are you with us this morning? chance. in michigan, line for democrats, go ahead. caller: yes.
i'm confused. what is gerrymandering? guest: drawing voting district lines in order to advantage one group or another. advantage at to racial group, do it to advantage a political party. att the court now is looking , it can sometimes violate the constitution. host: a quick follow-up? caller: yes. i am confused. guest: one person one vote means the district in the state have to be the same population size. it does not answer the question completely of how you draw the district. host: when is this expected to be heard and when can we see a decision? guest: i would expect it to be
heard in october or november and a decision probably not until next june. host: we will hopefully see you back before that. , we appreciated it. up next, congressman steve cohen . we will talk about the latest on the russian investigation. we will be right back. ♪ >> sunday night on "afterwards, rachel schneider and jonathan morgan detail how low to moderate income families manage money in their book the financial diary. how american families cope
catherine eden, author of "two dollars a day," living on almost nothing in america. >> i can come up with spending decisions i made in the last year. it's the minimus. there is one. the consequence for people to are struggling is often really big. >> one of the pieces of data that really surprised me on the survey of income and program participation was that between 2009 and 2011, it was unusual after the recession, but during that time 10 million americans poor during -- every month. but 90 million americans at some .ere
one third of america experienced poverty at some moment during that time, often in a short time, but it means we really have to read and quits going on. on booktvafterwards," ." -- booktv. >> "washington journal" continues. host: the judiciary committee has not begun a formal probe in the 2016 election, but democrats are in the committee want one in light of what's come out of the course of the investigation. what would be different if the house judiciary committee got involved? we have encouraged, i have encouraged the chairman to take up these issues. the judiciary committee is the proper forum for discussions of the f guy director