The Supreme Court's two big gerrymandering cases, explained

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The Court won't use the same criteria for either case. Here's why.

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In America, voting districts are redrawn every ten years to account for shifts in demographics. Someone has to be in charge of drawing the new lines. And because voting is left to the states, in many jurisidictions this responsibility is left to partisan politicians. This creates an opening for politicians who might want to alter the outcome of an election through a process called gerrymandering.

But not all gerrymandering is the same. There are, in fact, two types: racial, and partisan. It is much more difficult to prove harm as a plaintiff in a partisan gerrymandering case than a racial one. And that distinction has to do with provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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