Will Partisan Gerrymandering Determine the 2018 Election?
January 24, 2018
What is the State of our Democratic Process? Part 1
Partisan gerrymandering is the practice of rigging elections by manipulating the boundaries of electoral districts so as to give one party a structural advantage without regard to actual voter turnout. Is it legal? Can we change the system that Hedrick Smith says is the number one reason the progressive voice isn’t heard? Attorney and grassroots organizer Peter Earle discusses voting rights, partisan gerrymandering and the role of the courts in elections.
Peter Earle is an attorney and grassroots organizer. He was co-lead trial counsel in the Wisconsin gerrymandering case, Whitford v Gil case, which was tried to a panel of three federal judges and resulted in the first verdict finding a legislative reapportionment to be unconstitutional on the grounds of partisan gerrymandering. The State of Wisconsin appealed the verdict to the United States Supreme Court which heard oral arguments on October 4, 2017. If the Supreme Court affirms the verdict, the ruling will establish a historic precedent that promises to end the practice of gerrymandering in time for the next round of redistricting following the 2020 decennial census.
Mr. Earle’s legal work focuses on the areas of civil rights, employment discrimination, lead poisoning, product liability and redistricting. As an attorney, Earle has been selected for an AV Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell. In 2007, Earle was presented the William Gorham Rice Civil Libertarian of the Year Award by the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin and in 2014, Public Justice awarded him and his co-counsel the Trial Lawyer of Year Award for winning a $1.15 billion verdict against former manufacturers of lead paint in California.