Overdue by a couple hundred years.

Gerrymandering seems to blatantly usurp democracy.

"For most Americans, it's obvious that our elected officials shouldn't be able to punish voters based on what party they prefer," said Levitt. "A Supreme Court decision setting limits on drawing districts for partisan advantage would substantially change the way that local, state, and congressional districts are drawn after the next census."

In most states, the maps are drawn after all by the party in power after each census, meaning neither party has a guarantee of controlling the districts indefinitely. But given US House districts generally survive for 10 years -- or five elections -- the impact on policy and government is substantial.

Levitt and others believe that the legislators in charge of drawing the maps have gone to new extremes impacting voters' right to fair representation under the First and Fourteenth Amendment.

Supreme Court's next step on gerrymandering could be its biggest yet

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Supreme Court to hear partisan gerrymandering case

"This will be the biggest and most important election law case in decades. However the Court rules will affect elections for years to come," Josh Douglas, a law professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law who specializes in election law and voting rights, told CNN.

Supreme Court to hear partisan gerrymandering case

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Partisan Gerrymandering Has Benefited the GOP, Analysis Shows

'Packing' and 'Cracking'
Throughout U.S. history, Democrats and Republicans alike have been accused of drawing political districts in ways that favored their own interests.

It typically occurs in one of two ways:

—"Packing" a large number of voters from the opposing party into a few districts to concentrate their votes.

—"Cracking," in which the majority party spreads the opposing party's supporters among multiple districts to dilute their influence.

Another way of explaining it: When the party controlling the redistricting process sets out to draw lines, it has detailed information about the number of supporters the opposing party has, and where they reside. It sets out to shape districts so its opponents' votes are wasted — spreading them out in some places so they are unlikely to win, and compacting them in others so they have far more votes than they need for victory. Both methods allow the party already in power to translate its votes into a greater share of victories — or, put another way, to be more efficient with its votes.

JUN 25 2017, 12:01 PM ET Partisan Gerrymandering Has Benefited the GOP, Analysis Shows

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