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One Person, One Vote: A Surprising History of Gerrymandering in America

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Nick Seabrook’s “One Person, One Vote” argues that many of America’s problems stem from gerrymandering.

Gerrymandering is the practice of creating political districts to benefit the political party that is drawing the lines. It is, in a sense, the political art of choosing one’s voters.

While gerrymandering for racial purposes has been deemed unconstitutional, doing it for political or partisan reasons has not. After a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions dating back to the 1940s—all of which effectively punted the decision further down the road—in 2019, the High Court’s Rucho v. Common Cause decision ruled that while partisan gerrymandering may be -quote "incompatible with democratic principles," the federal courts cannot review such allegations, as they present what are called ‘nonjusticiable political questions’ that are outside the scope of what the court should consider.

To get some history on gerrymandering in the U.S. today, the author of the new book “One Person One Vote: A Surprising History of Gerrymandering in America” joins gulf Coast Life. Dr. Nicholas Seabrook is Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at University of North Florida in Jacksonville.

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