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Gerrymandering: United States and Congressional Apportionment Essay

Congressional Apportionment is the process by which the United States House of Representatives are redistricted the fifty states following each constitutionally mandated decennial census. Each state is guaranteed at least one seat and all the other seats are divided among the rest of the states based on their population. Congressional Apportionment is important to the states because the more representatives a state has the more influence they have in the House and vice versa the states do not want to lose seats in the House.

Congressional redistricting is the process of redrawing district boundaries when a state has more representatives than districts. The Senate does not take part in the redistricting process. Redistricting occurs every ten years, with the national census. Gerrymandering is a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular political party or group by manipulating geographic boundaries to create partisan, incumbent-protected districts.

In order to protect incumbents and to discourage challengers by creating a district that is more populated with a certain political ideology over another to insure a politician’s chance of winning. Gerrymandering is also used in order, to enhance a political party’s strength by having a certain political parties in a district to ensure that the Democrats or Republicans win every election. The Supreme Court has placed limits on racial gerrymandering and ensuring that the districts are equally populated.

Racial gerrymandering is the drawing of a district to favor one racial group over another. The Supreme Court outlawed racial gerrymandering, which prevented Southern African Americans from voting and becoming the majority. The Supreme Court also disallows majority-minority districts. The Supreme Court has also ruled that the districts must be equally populated; the districts are required to have the same number of people, so each state takes the number of people they found in the census and divides that by the number of districts.


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