September 19, 2017
Professor Nick Stephanopoulos (Photo from University of Chicago Law School)
Professor Nick Stephanopoulos, a professor from the University of Chicago, will be speaking to the Tulane chapter of the American Constitution Society about political gerrymandering this Friday at 4 p.m. in room 110.
Professor Stephanopoulos will be arguing Gill v. Whitford before the Supreme Court on October 3rd, a case that has the potential to profoundly affect our democratic system. Professor Stephanopoulos has developed a statistical model to measure just how bad a gerrymandered districting scheme is, which may finally give the court the reasoning it needs to tackle an issue that has previously been deemed non-justiciable.
By using sophisticated computer algorithms and big data, state legislatures have taken gerrymandering to a whole new level. For example, in the 2012 federal House of Representatives, Pennsylvania Republicans won only 49% of the popular vote, but won 72% of the state's representative seats. This is a bipartisan issue, Democrats and Republicans both do it, and it is a leading cause of America's sky-high incumbent reelection rate, political polarization, and voter disaffection.
It's truly remarkable that Professor Stephanopoulos is taking time out of his schedule to speak to us just days before this case goes before the Supreme Court.