The Supreme Court is having a hard time deciding whether the courts of justice should at all get involved in supervising politicians who redraw congressional district lines. The problem is that elected representatives can redraw district boundaries to their own advantage. This is called gerrymandering, the engineering of district borders so one party is almost certain to gain a majority of seats in the state, even if it doesn't get the majority of popular votes.
This of course undermines the system of proportional representation. Arguably, the Republicans gerrymandered district lines in Wisconsin after the 2010 census
. By doing so, they won 60 percent of seats in an later vote for the state assembly - while being awarded less than half of the statewide vote. The Supreme Court now has to decide how gerrymandering can be detected and when the courts should get involved in the process of redrawing congressional district lines.
The district boundaries are reviewed and redrawn if necessary after each national census held every ten years. This makes perfect sense because in ten years individual districts can win or lose a lot of inhabitants and hence voters. The next census is in 2020. Some observers argue that if the Supreme Court lets the Wisconsin Republicans get away with the engineering efforts they have been accused of, copy cats could follow suit in other states after 2020.
As our chart shows, most Americans (52 percent) think the Supreme Court should strike down congressional districts that have been drawn to give lopsided advantages to the party in power. Then again, the share of respondents who are uncertain is rather large too (39 percent), according to a poll by YouGov
. What seems like a straight forward question becomes more complicated when you have a distaste for the judiciary having to okay every redrawing of district boundaries.