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DOJ Promises More Aggressive Action Against Gerrymandering

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The department promised to after any jurisdiction that doesn’t meet the “one person, one vote” principle.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a warning to states ahead of a year of congressional mapmaking that it will pursue cases against jurisdictions that seek to dilute the voting power of various minorities, signaling its preparedness to take a more aggressive approach in battling gerrymandering, reports The Hill. This year will be the first round of redistricting since the 2013 Supreme Court decision in Shelby v. Holder, which gutted Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act that gave the DOJ the right to pre-clear maps in states with a history of racial discrimination.

The DOJ said it would be ready to go after any jurisdiction that doesn’t meet the “one person, one vote” principle. The type of cases the department can bring under Section 2 of the law, which prohibits voting practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color or membership in a language minority group, includes any redistricting plan that “minimizes or cancels out the voting strength” of various groups — something often achieved by fracturing a minority group across districts or packing them into one district — as well as whether a jurisdiction has a “history of official discrimination.” The guidance also takes aim at any states that may seek to redistrict based on the number of U.S. citizens in its boundaries, saying the DOJ “will consider whether any efforts to change the apportionment base for a districting plan to a measure other than total population.”

Source: The Crime Report

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