Caltech Social Scientists Weigh in on Gerrymandering Before the Supreme Court
As the U.S. Supreme Court tackles many hot-button issues, its justices recently received advice from two HSS professors on an issue that has huge implications for the nation's politics—partisan gerrymandering.
J. Morgan Kousser, the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of History and Social Science, and Jonathan Katz, the Kay Sugahara Professor of Social Sciences and Statistics, both helped author informational briefs submitted to the court in the case of Gill v. Whitford. The case arises from a challenge to the redistricting plan passed by Wisconsin's Republican-controlled legislature in 2011, after a lower court struck down the plan in 2016, finding that it violated the Constitution because it was the product of partisan gerrymandering—that is, the practice of purposefully drawing district lines to favor one party and put another at a disadvantage. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in October, and its decision is pending. Alumnus Sam Wang (BS '86), a
neuroscientist and author, also signed onto the brief Katz co-authored.
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