Big Data Supercharged Gerrymandering. It Could Help Stop It Too

The Supreme Court’s conservative justices ruled Thursday that the highest court doesn’t have the power to address partisan gerrymandering, the practice in which politicians redraw district maps to help their own party win more elections. In two cases, Lamone v. Benisek and Rucho v. Common Cause, the court split along ideological lines 5 to 4. Chief Justice John G. Roberts wrote the majority opinion, concluding that “partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts.” The cases concerned two instances of redistricting, one in North Carolina, where plaintiffs said the map was gerrymandered to favor Republicans, and another in Maryland, where plaintiffs said it was designed to favor Democrats. Justice Roberts agreed that the states’ district …