tv Washington Journal Adam Liptak Discusses Wisconsins Gerrymandering Case CSPAN June 26, 2017 11:14am-11:44am EDT
hearing two cases on the second amendment, one dealing with california's concealed carry law and a second case in the federal law that bans felons from possessing guns. two cases the court will not be hearing and it's you term. you can read more about that at the hill.com. look ahead to the next supreme court term. we talk with a reporter about it , one that the supreme court has agreed to hear, a lower court real -- revealed that the electoral map drawn by republicans in wisconsin was unconstitutional. we will bring you back here to the steps of the supreme court live for any other information. desk a dayin our after this story, justices take up gerrymandering based on party.
let's remind our viewers what gerrymandering is. guest: that is drawing legislative districts. you see these mass was funny looking district. the reason they are so funny looking is that the party in power draws the district that favor their own party. the question of whether the kind of political gerrymandering which has gotten very sophisticated is constitutional has never been addressed by the u.s. supreme court. they had never struck down the legislative district, the fact that they are taking a fresh look at the question means that we might get next term a big case that could reshape american politics. betweene difference political and racial gerrymandering. guest: they have fairly struck minoritydisadvantaging voters, racial gerrymandering. that is thought to be a problem under the voting rights act.
political will gerrymandering will not. the supreme court has never struck down a district for this. someform may not be -- drawing maps for their local legislatures and also for the house. host: you said that haven't struck down a specific district that have been made their opinions known about political jargon josh gerrymandering in general? guest: conservatives tend to take the view, political gerrymandering is not a good thing but it is not for the courts to supervise. they are not going to get involved. aberal justices say wait second, the constitution has something to say about making sure your vote counts.
in the middle is justice anthony outedy, he is not ruling it , but he hasn't seen the standard that would allow him to know how to distinguish between ordinary politics and something that crosses a constitutional line. host: he could be a key vote here. what is the wisconsin case that made its way to the court that will be at the heart of the matter? guest: this is in the federal court district down wisconsin's general assembly map as an unconstitutional gerrymander. an interesting part of the case is adopting an idea from a law review article, the law in part based its position on the mathematical -- mathematical theory. we finally got the method where we can figure out which -- how much political gerrymandering is too much? host: the line that essentially
has to be crossed before it is political gerrymandering. this is a little complicated. basically there are two ways to advantage in party. you are-- they republican legislator. you can put the democrats enjoy single district. that means that every vote after 51% is a wasted vote. you can spread them across a lot of democrats where republicans have a small minority. votes ofp the wasted democrats and republicans and you divide each of them by the total number of flows and you get a ratio. they say if the ratio is over a certain number it advantages one part or the other. known asis a term packing and cracking. with us from the new
york times us morning. if you have questions about this case are cases before the supreme court is where taking down the days until their final -- final decision day. one more question on the specific wisconsin case. what happened to the map that is being challenged here? it will be months and may be a year down the road. guest: it looked like until monday that wisconsin has to drop a new map and satisfy this ruling. but the court stayed that decision meaning we are frozen in place and the old map is still in place. so forstate we had a 5-4 liberals in the minority and five more conservative members including kennedy in the majority. that is an early can that justice kennedy may not be ready to move after all.
is it the state of wisconsin that will be defending the map? guest: yes. they have a bunch of good lawyers including paul smith. he is a note -- in an election lawyer. he is a prominent member of the supreme court bar. host: democrat line from new york. old, and am 64 years this gerrymandering is not a good idea at all. at five years old, at first i didn't know anything about segregation. i didn't know anything and i that donald feel trump pregnancy -- presidency has awakened racing -- racism. he is bring this country down.
in north korea, obama brought 10 people from north korea. a few things he can do better how come he didn't bring the rest of them home. thank you for taking my call. racial gerrymandering we talked about earlier. when did the supreme court start looking into jerry -- racial gerrymandering. guest: i'm a shocking give your number but civil rights in the 60's started all this. host: cambridge ohio, independent line. theer: i want to talk about gerrymandering case specifically but voting in general. if i were to vote illegally forecast an invalid doubt on purpose i think the fine is $100,000 and five years in prison. , a judge ruled
that the balance should be preserved but the republicans in charge went ahead and destroy ballots anyway. there are multiple cases like --s where they haven't had is there a penalty for any of these violations that occur? aboutcan you also talk where there is current ballot access before the court? are fines and penalties and they vary by the state. woman in texas was sentenced to like 12 years. most experts agree that in person voting fraud is very rare. states that inof
order to control what they say is rampant voter fraud and there are restrictions on voting including voter id and other methods and a lot of challenges to those. host: anything we are expected to hear before the end of the current term? guest: no. the court had a couple gerrymandering cases but those have been decided. wisconsin linein for democrats. caller: i am calling because i know gerrymandering has affected minority voters to the point where they have a hard time making their vote count, and with the gerrymandering it makes it hard for everyone to vote. it is also makes it difficult if you do not like the representative that is representing -- representing you in the district. because of the way they set up their line they are protected.
for the next few years until it have alved, voters don't choice in the matter. because of the way they set up the line. it's out of control here in wisconsin. it andthe courts realize make sure that the voters, the people who vote, make sure their vote counts. thank you for taking my call. lawmakers right that in a sense choose their voters among other things try to make sure they will be reelected. a point you made is that racial gerrymandering are sometimes hard to tell apart because black voters in particular tend to vote and
heavily dem -- democratic. lawmakers struggle to find out black voterslot of and democratic voters is a racial gerrymander or a political gerrymander or some of each. they are focusing on states like california, oregon and ohio, florida as well as. viewers if you want to read more cv "new york times". guest: we can come to accept that we let late -- legislatures do the gerrymandering. california for instance and arizona have independent ring is redistricting.
they draw the lines with the usual factors. you want to keep the counties together. togetherto keep areas and keep them contiguous. to could delegate this job lawmakers but to an end domestic -- independent commission. caller: i was going through an october 2016 about gerrymandering. six of the 10 most gerrymander , northare republican gerrymandered.st it would be interested in getting the judgments, regarding commissions and waiting to see dumb20 if the democrats do
-- dominate legislatures. or if they go about doing their own thing with the gerrymandering. guest: i'm fairly cynical. i don't think either party does it more than the other. if they have the power they will act in their self-interest. republicans control a lot of the state gerrymandering. host: the supreme court term is coming to an end. .cheduled to end where does the travel ban, where does that stand and will we have any input or decision before the end of the term? guest: i think we will have word from the court. the brief in the case ends today, the judge -- the judges have a private conference tomorrow. they may act as soon as tomorrow.
one question is do they except the case? there's a question on whether they take it at all and then what happens the meantime. the government has also asked that the court at least temporarily reinstate the travel and let it stay the injunction issued by lower courts. wemay be as soon as tomorrow will hear something about the fate of the travel ban in the short term. this will be a busy couple of days. host: any chance it would be expedited, october seems like it in the political atmosphere right now. administrationp is taking a curious litigation posture. they say it is an emergency, the fate of the nation hangs in the
balance but let's wait until october to argue it. might the court nevertheless even though the litigant making the request for october's fine set it 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 at the end of the term. but they are not asking for that. and justices have summer plans come i'm not sure it would happen. it may be the wiser course. big a dealis is as as the administration says it is, it is better to have an answer sooner rather than later and you don't want the answers supplied by happenstance. you would rather have a decision that decides the case. host: back to the phones. gutierrez is in someone, north
carolina. go ahead. caller: the problem is crosscheck. problem, a crosscheck they put african americans latin american and asians and they put them in different states if they have the same name, if they take it off -- disqualify your vote. every two years because of the gerrymandering at the state level where i am in, the supreme made them stop it because they were pitting african districts.urban guest: we talked about racial
gerrymandering a bit. there are real questions about keeping -- how you keep your voter rolls current and accurate you overcompensate and not people off the rolls and have a harder time voting. it is also for people who move from state to state. rolls keep the voter accurate and current but not at the expense of denying people the right to vote. that is there any case on topic we might hear about at the end of the term? guest: not the end of the term. host: what are you watching most closely? a big case about separation of church and state, whether states can declined tuesday support state affiliates, even if the support popular and as uncontroversial as providing rubberized playgrounds. a church in missouri the supreme
court is being asked does the missouri constitution which says we don't want to have anything to do with religion in any way, does that violate the federal constitution and a van -- disadvantaging the church. of big immigration related cases, one of them a cross-border shooting, a border guard shoes and mexican born across the u.s.-mexico border. the mexico side. can his family ring a claim in american courts. and another claim which became now pressing -- more pressing, what about people held in immigration detention who are seeking asylum and are held for years? do they have a right of review to make the case that they should be let out? host: decisions are based in our and monday. guest: as you say, i think it is they host:kely that
added one more day next week. mobile, alabama, line for democrats. caller: i would like to say alabama and mississippi have always had gerrymandering problems. that we've --ing there is no early voting. closed, nowes were all businesses are open. a way to disenfranchise the poor and the working class because they have to take their children to school in the mornings and get off and pick them up and prepare dinner. you disenfranchise people. in alabama and mississippi the minorities do not approve of all of this they far outnumber the republican voters. is who hash money control.
we have had a very hard time down here. i think you should care about your families a little bit more. contrast in this country they need to be fair to everybody, not just some. place onting takes weekends for most of the world. i think scheduling voting on tuesdays, stop and think for a minute why you have floating on a day most people are working rather than on a day people are not working is an authentic question. you might get a different result in someolor suggests races if the voting was on a saturday or sunday. host: greg, midlothian, virginia, go ahead.
how big of a problem is gerrymandering across the country as a whole and the second question is is there any party -- shows which the democrats have a tendency to redraw district more than republicans or republicans more than democrats? guest: it's hard to say because today republicans control more statehouses than democrats. today they do it more. happent know what would if the shoe were on the other foot. i don't think there is any fundamental distinction between the parties. they have these tools, and if they have them they use them. host: how big a problem across the country?
is this just a handful of states? guest: it varies across the country. a goodin is said to be example, north carolina and maryland. it is commonplace. becky in stanton, michigan, a democrat. caller: good morning. why do we get people out of this gerrymandering and have a computer do it? who would write the code for that computer program? computersple do use and so far they have exacerbated the problems, to draw the lines to get the people you want. the problem is why don't we just are a great and drop that on top
of the state and do it that way. but there are a lot of factors. the district have to be identical in population size. then you want them to be of somewhat normal shapes. then you want them to follow lines. then the court said you can protect incumbents. even with the benefit of good intentions, people trying to do this even if you want to drive comesan ship out of this is hard to drop his lines. why hasn't been allowed? guest: part -- politics is part of the process. the only thing courts have looked at is race. host: war and, michigan is next warned, on the independent line. caller: i have an idea. voting whicht make
is probably the most important thing that we have in this -- let's say for example, ,e make a monday and a weekend the monday holiday, a national holiday and it is voting only very. guest: i think that is a fine idea. weekendhey do it on the or in other countries they do what you suggest. i think it's a fine idea. beach,untington california a democrat. caller: i was just wondering , they havey lines their own government and are already drawn what would be the drawback to having county lines be the district lines? guest: if all the counties were illegal in population, that would work. as you know they are not. you have to take -- you have to
make allowances for that. host: goose creek, south carolina, democrat. go ahead. caller: my comment is on the congressional races and since last november. is can we be sure that there is is -- outside of foreign races. the lady at a was arrested, i think we should stop. that theyt us know beat it in the states, russia far as our get as state electrical -- electoral computers how can we be sure that the races from here on out are not being tampered with. from our democrat tennessee is going to be joining
us in the next segment talking about the rush investigation. i think you guys love a lot more expertise on that. host: we will be talking about that in a couple of minutes. with justice gorsuch on the some of the hearings that happened in this term being rescheduled, so it could be heard with justice gorsuch on the court. are those cases being considered for next time? guest: we will find out soon enough. thisrospect of the court, will deadlock 4-4. if they deadlock, what they will do is set it down for reargument setting in october so that all nonmembers can hear it. host: they can say they're say they don'ten
have to go forward with the decision? guest: last year they went 4-4, they simply affirmed by a divided vote an issue no opinion. that happened in the immigration case. the sheer, since they know they have nine, the usual practice would be to say we will set it down for reargument in the fall .eard unanimousy have been a lot of the time. it turns out that an eight-member court because it does not like to deadline will find some way to find the decision, although it can be so narrow that the litigants don't get much guidance from it. host: eleanor in florida, line for democrats. caller: the lady that called early complaining about voting on tuesday if you were working mother, i have three children, i
worked the entire time. i managed to vote on tuesday because i make it a priority and we did not have early voting when i was young. good for you and i think voting is important. lots of people make the effort, but you can still pass the question about why we make it hard. host: life for democrats, go ahead. caller: i'm confused. what is gerrymandering? is drawingymandering voting district line in order to -- in order to advantage one group or another. you can do it to the advantage of political parties. what the court will now look at is whether if you are drawing district lines in order to
advantage her own party, whether that can violate the constitution. i thought one person one vote, i got confused. guest: one person one vote means the district in the state have to be the same population size. that doesn't answer the question completely of how you draw the district. host: this wisconsin case that we have been talking about, when is it expected to be heard and when could we see a decision? guest: october or november and december not until next year. host: hopefully you will be back on the program before then. you can see supreme court coverage and washington journal segments online at c-span.org and a live look here