A political cartoon comments on an 1812 Massachusetts redistricting plan designed to keep the political party of Governor Elbridge Gerry in power. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Every decade, states are required to redraw their district lines. But redistricting isn’t always fair or done with constituents’ best interests in mind. In fact, there’s a lot of shady practices that go into redistricting. We talk with Justin Levitt, the Loyola University law professor behind the websiteto learn how gerrymandering shapes our politics.
- Levitt says many people attribute the polarized redistricting process to new technologies and a new set of rules. That’s not necessarily the case. Instead, Levitt says polarization has more to do with a breakdown of societal norms.
- States are required to redraw district lines every decade. Some states have a better track record than others. Every decade since the 1970s, courts have struck down Texas’ new districts, citing political or racial gerrymandering.
- Levitt says the best way to bring about redistricting reform is for citizens to push it through as a ballot initiative like . But even if you muster up enough support, the initiative might not make it past a .
- the difference between racial and partisan gerrymandering.
- The U.S. Supreme Court is taking up a case on gerrymandering. Northeastern University’s what this case could mean for future elections
- what redistricting looks like elsewhere in the world.