U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear Arguments In Wisconsin Gerrymandering Case

Oct 2, 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments today in Gill v. Whitford, a Wisconsin case challenging partisan legislative maps.

Credit "Courtroom One Gavel" by Flickr User Beth Cortez-Neavel / (CC BY 2.0)

Wendy Tam Cho, a University of Illinois political science professor, says this case is particularly important because it could determine the court’s role in future cases on gerrymandering. 

“So, if the legislatures decide to institute a gerrymander, the Supreme Court can rule those unconstitutional,” Cho said, “and, in this case, Gill v. Whitfford, the court could potentially decide that they’re not going to hear partisan gerrymander cases ever again.” 

Cho has used the U of I’s Blue Waters supercomputer to generate billions of possible legislative maps. Her research has been cited in briefs filed with the court.

Cho says she hopes the court will rule that it’s possible to set manageable standards for partisan gerrymandering; otherwise, she says, “Large swaths of voters lose the ability to cast an effective vote.”