Political dysfunction and maldistribution of people


James W. Pfister

James W. Pfister

Years ago, in 1962, in Baker v. Carr, the Supreme Court agreed to hear cases where legislative districts were unequal in population, called “malapportionment.” Before that case, the issue was seen as a nonjusticiable political question, with no judicial remedy. Baker v. Carr held that there were judicial standards to hear malapportionment cases. Subsequent cases eliminated malapportionment by requiring that there be equal number of persons in legislative districts.  

Today, we have, through partisan gerrymandering, what I would call “maldistribution of people” in legislative districts, where through “packing” of people of one party into a district or “cracking” into the political preferences of people to create large minorities of people of one party in a district, people are not represented fairly as they should be. This leads to political extremes and polarization. We do not have the stability of politics of the center, where most people are, and, therefore, it is hard to reach political compromise to act.                                                                                                        

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