But with quantitative tools provided to us by social science, the Supreme Court can and should outlaw partisan gerrymandering once and for all.
Several court observers concurred that the Justices agreed gerrymandering is unconstitutional reasonably early during the argument.
One of the most egregious examples of gerrymandering is North Carolina's Twelfth congressional district, which snaked through most of the state to consolidate Democratic-leaning black voters into one district.
The case is important for everyone nationwide, not just workers and their allies. But the majority of the most obnoxiously gerrymandered states - including Wisconsin, where the case of Gill v. Whitford originated - are controlled by Republicans.
How has that worked out in Wisconsin? The same thing happened in Iowa this year. In Vieth v Jubelirer, a gerrymandering case from 2004, four justices rejected the notion that courts were equipped to monitor partisan gerrymandering at all.
In Wisconsin, Republicans received 48.6 percent of the statewide vote but captured 60 of 99 seats. Five of the eight US representatives are Republicans.
"This is a map that effectively determined, in advance, who was going to control the government of Wisconsin, the Assembly of Wisconsin, in advance, for a whole 10 years, regardless of how the people might decide to vote", said Paul Smith, attorney for the Democratic plaintiffs.
It is neither judicially right or democratically wise for Republican justices to continue to vote along party lines in ways that advantage partisan Republicans by failing to protect the integrity of the right of Americans to vote, the integrity of financing the elections they vote in and the integrity of the districts in which they vote. It's that voters shouldn't be punished for associating with one party or another. I think we have in one of these cases, in Ernst & Young, the individual claim is $1,800. As usual, Justice Clarence Thomas said nothing at all. It could have big impacts on who you vote for moving forward. "Isn't that ― what becomes of the precious right to vote?"
Plaintiffs, however, countered there is no ideal time to fight gerrymandering in world of two-year election cycles, and with two more elections scheduled under the current maps, it's a journey worth starting now.
Murphy replied there will always be voters in districts "where they know what the result is going to be". Sotomayor asked how political gerrymander "helps our system of government". "The payoff for these groups is obvious: By shaping the decennial redistricting process, special interest groups can affect the outcome of every congressional race in a state for the next decade".
"A good one", Vladeck said, "whether you're a Republican or a Democrat". "So it's going to be a problem here across the board", the Chief Justice told Smith.
Nearly three weeks after the Supreme Court sent out a message loud and clear that the effort of the constitutional courts in safeguarding the dignity of individual, particularly against custodial violence, will continue as long as Article 21 (right to protection of life and personal liberty) remains in the Constitution, the Madras high court initiated a suo motu PIL on the issue.
While none of the attorneys for the General Assembly would talk on camera, they argued in court that without the Supreme Court ruling on the Wisconsin case, "Pennsylvania is taking a shot in the dark". When the Supreme Court struck down a California law prohibiting consumer arbitration agreements that waive consumers' rights to file a class action, such arbitration agreements ballooned.
Part of the problem, he argued, is the fact that modern day technology has allowed better map-drawing that has "wrested power from voters".
Legislation in the state House and Senate would throw out the current system that leaves much of the work to lawmakers in favor of a commission created to reduce the influence of party leaders.