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In-Depth Interview: Gerrymandering Expert David Daley Talks About Two Bad Supreme Court Rulings

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David Daley wrote the book about extreme partisan gerrymandering, and gives critical analysis of SCOTUS decisions on gerrymandering and the census.

At the end of June, the Supreme Court issued decisions on partisan gerrymandering and on the effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 national census. The high court effectively blocked future challenges to extreme redistricting for political purposes, while rejecting the methods used to add the citizenship question without prohibiting it in the future.

Former Salon editor David Daley wrote a book about gerrymandering, and has reviewed the recently exposed files of Republican political-map mastermind Tom Hofeller, who died last year.

This podcast was originally posted at WhoWhatWhy. 

Daley offers critical commentary on the gerrymandering decision, wherein Chief Justice John Roberts admits that “excessive partisanship in districting leads to results that reasonably seem unjust,” yet concludes for the conservative majority that the courts have no role in reviewing even the most absurd lines drawn to protect minority rule by Republicans in North Carolina and Democrats in Maryland.

While Daley can’t confirm that the court considered the Hofeller connection in its decision-making process, he explains that Hofeller was central to the arguments on the census issue which the Court found to be “pretextual,” with Roberts politely concluding “the evidence tells a story that does not match the explanation [Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross] gave for his decision.”

David Daley is the author of Ratfucked: Why Your Vote Doesn’t Count.