Remarks from the Journal of Law in Society and Levin Center Symposium

By Stephanopoulos, Nicholas | The Journal of Law in Society, Spring 2019 | Go to article overview

Remarks from the Journal of Law in Society and Levin Center Symposium


Stephanopoulos, Nicholas, The Journal of Law in Society


I will be discussing the associational theory of Justice Kagan's. I want to start off by flagging what an interesting development her opinion was in Gill v. Whitford. (1) Historically, and presently, almost all of the discussion of partisan gerrymandering focuses on how gerrymanders affect the number of seats that parties can expect to win. It is almost the definition of the term to think about the effect of district boundaries on one side's number of seats versus the other side's number of seats. However, Justice Kagan does not say that is the wrong way to think about partisan gerrymandering, but she does say it is not the only way to think about gerrymandering. Further, she says that there is another distinct injury that gerrymandering causes, beyond how it affects parties' seats--won or lost. In Justice Kagan's view, gerrymandering can impede important party activities, you know, central party functions. I would like to bring attention to the language from Gill v. Whitford and particularly this crucial sentence in Justice Kagan's opinion where she states what the party functions are that she thinks are undermined by partisan gerrymandering. She says:

"Members of the disfavored party in the State, deprived of their natural political strength by a partisan gerrymander, may face difficulties fundraising, registering voters, attracting volunteers, generating support from independents, and recruiting candidate to run for office (not to mention eventually accomplishing their policy objectives)." (2)

As an empirically minded law professor, when I read a Supreme Court sentence that says that something may cause, or may harm something else, my first instinct is to just ask myself is that true? If we looked at a bunch of evidence, would we find this positive connection between A and B? To answer this, I partnered with a political scientist Christian Worshaw, who is also an expert in a number of partisan gerrymandering cases, to do our best to test Justice Kagan's hypothesis about how gerrymandering might or might not affect the parties' associational activities.

Measures of partisan advantage

* Efficiency gap

* Partisan bias

* Mean-median difference

* Declination

* Aggregate of all these metrics

To start out, Chris and I had to come up with a metric for gerrymandering. We used several measures that are used by social scientists to capture a party's advantage or disadvantage from redistricting. Chris and I did not want to take a stand here about which of these metrics is better or worse than the other. Instead, we used them all. We recognized that some like the efficiency gap, others like the declination, and others like partisan bias, let's just use every metric that is out there in social science literature and let's also use an aggregate of all these metrics so, you know, let's combine all four of those metrics into a single uber metric and use that as well.

Party activities

* "Recruiting candidates to run for office": The proportion of seats not contested by a party

* "Recruiting candidates to run for office": The proportion of a party's candidates who are incumbents or have held prior elected office

* "Fundraising": The proportion of total campaign contributions received by a party's candidates

* "Generating support from independents": A party's statewide vote share

* "Accomplishing their policy objectives": The overall liberalism/conservatism of state policy outcomes

We then decided that we wanted to try to quantify as many as we could, of the associational activities that Justice Kagan talked about. One of those activities was recruiting candidates to run for office. One way to operationalize this activity was by looking at the proportion of seats that a party does not contest at all. If a party does not even run a candidate then clearly the party is not doing a great job of recruiting candidates to run for office. We operationalized this party activity by looking at the proportion of a party's candidates who are considered high quality candidates. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Remarks from the Journal of Law in Society and Levin Center Symposium
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.