Gerrymandering in America: The House of Representatives, the Supreme Court, and the Future of Popular Sovereignty

Gerrymandering in America: The House of Representatives, the Supreme Court, and the Future of Popular Sovereignty


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Gerrymandering in America: The House of Representatives, the Supreme Court, and the Future of Popular Sovereignty by Anthony J. McGann, Charles Anthony Smith, Michael Latner, Alex Keena

This book considers the political and constitutional consequences of Vieth v. Jubelirer (2004), where the Supreme Court held that partisan gerrymandering challenges could no longer be adjudicated by the courts. Through a rigorous scientific analysis of US House district maps, the authors argue that partisan bias increased dramatically in the 2010 redistricting round after the Vieth decision, both at the national and state level. From a constitutional perspective, unrestrained partisan gerrymandering poses a critical threat to a central pillar of American democracy, popular sovereignty. State legislatures now effectively determine the political composition of the US House. The book answers the Court's challenge to find a new standard for gerrymandering that is both constitutionally grounded and legally manageable. It argues that the scientifically rigorous partisan symmetry measure is an appropriate legal standard for partisan gerrymandering, as it logically implies the constitutional right to individual equality and can be practically applied.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781316507674
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 04/04/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 574,924
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.59(d)

About the Author

Anthony J. McGann is a Professor in the School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Strathclyde. His research examines the theory and practice of democratic institutions with a focus on electoral systems and the behavior of political parties. He has published The Logic of Democracy and The Radical Right in Western Europe (with Herbert Kitschelt). His articles have been featured in the American Journal of Political Science, the British Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Theoretical Politics, Public Choice, Comparative Political Studies, International Studies Quarterly, Electoral Studies, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Party Politics, and Legislative Studies Quarterly, among others.

Charles Anthony Smith is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Irvine. His books include The Rise and Fall of War Crimes Trials: From Charles I to Bush II (Cambridge, 2012) and Understanding the Political World, 12th edition (with James Danziger). He has published articles in the American Journal of Political Science, Law and Society Review, Political Research Quarterly, Justice System Journal, International Political Science Review, Judicature, the Journal of Human Rights, the Election Law Journal, Studies in Law, Politics and Society, Human Rights Review, the Journal of International Relations and Development, among other journals.

Michael Latner is Associate Professor of Political Science at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where he teaches and studies political participation, representation, and civic technology. He is Director of the Master's in Public Policy program and Faculty Scholar at the Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy's Digital Democracy Initiative. His professional memberships include Cal Poly's Geographic Information Systems User Group, Western Political Science Association, American Political Science Association, and International Political Science Association. Professor Latner has served as a political consultant on more than a dozen candidate and initiative campaigns across California, and as a civic technology and social media consultant for governments, associations, and businesses.

Alex Keena is a PhD candidate in political science at the University of California, Irvine whose research focuses on American political institutions and electoral politics. His dissertation explores how political representation in Congress is affected by the size of legislative districts and the long-term growth of the electorate.

Table of Contents

1. The unnoticed revolution; 2. The jurisprudence of districting; 3. Measuring partisan bias; 4. Geographic explanations for partisan bias; 5. Political explanations of partisan bias; 6. The constitutional implications of Vieth; 7. Answering Justice Scalia's challenge to equality: does equal protection imply majority rule?; 8. Conclusion: Vieth, majority rule, and one person, one vote.

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