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SCOTUS Tea Leaf Watch

May 23rd, 2018, 8:51am by Sam Wang


The anti-labor Epic Systems decision reminds us that the Supreme Court is fundamentally conservative in its outlook – in the political sense, not a textualist sense. Edith Roberts has the roundup.

FantasySCOTUS watch: I give you the top 16 punters.
Gill v. Whitford: 9 guess affirm, 5 reverse.
Benisek v. Lamone: 10 reverse, 5 affirm, 1 not voting.
Abbott v. Perez: 4 affirm, 8 reverse, 4 not voting.

In each case, the liberal position is listed first.

Abbott v. Perez is a confused case, as Texas cases usually are. Still, it is just one example of broad hostility on the part of the Court to racial gerrymandering claims. This case tells us that the future of such claims is bleak. Here we are in 2018, and no matter how this case is resolved, much of the Texas map will have made it through four Congressional elections – and maybe all five elections before post-2020 redistricting. Truly it is possible to run out the clock on a racial gerrymander.

The partisan gerrymandering cases seem more likely to tilt in the liberal direction, at least for now. Although we don’t know what will happen in Whitford or in Benisek, the issue is at least alive. To the extent that a racial voting group’s interests align with one party more than another, for now this is a remaining route to reform through court action. For a longer look, I recommend Rick Hasen’s “Party All The Time” article on the relationship between race and party.

Pardon my ongoing obsession with the Supreme Court; I’ll get to the House and Senate when summer comes.

Tags: Redistricting · Supreme Court

One Comment so far ↓

  • LondonYoung

    Well, this case, like many, doesn’t seem to have been decided as a matter of law.
    The three women from New York City and the one guy from San Francisco all thot one way.
    Those from less illustrious places like Pin Point, GA, Buffalo, Denver, Trenton and Sacramento all thot the other way.
    Oh, and I forgot to mention – the inner city folk are all dems and the lesser city folk are all gop.

    People who like Hasen’s work might also like Rodden’s urban/rural work https://web.stanford.edu/~jrodden/wp/shadow.pdf

    Both authors refer to Bruce Cain – who in the 1980’s taught intro economics / political science at Caltech.

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