Zachary Roth, a senior editor at Talking Points Memo, is the founder of The Daily Democracy, a nonprofit news site that reports on voting rights, redistricting, and related issues. He is also the author of The Great Suppression: Voting Rights, Corporate Cash, and the Conservative Assault on Democracy (2016). (January 2018)
The Wisconsin redistricting case before the Supreme Court, Gill v. Whitford, underscores how the justices’ failure to act on gerrymandering when they last had the chance, over a decade ago, has warped American electoral politics almost beyond recognition. It has allowed Republicans to turn the last three elections for Congress and many statehouses into a strange simulacrum of competition, in which the parties compete vigorously for votes even though GOP control has often been all but assured from the outset. At stake in Gill is the question of whether election outcomes can be made once again to provide at least a rough reflection of the popular will.