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28 Notre Dame J.L. Ethics & Pub. Pol'y 323 (2014)
Gerrymandered Gridlock: Addressing the Hazardous Impact of Partisan Redistricting

handle is hein.journals/ndlep28 and id is 333 raw text is: NOTES
GERRYMANDERED GRIDLOCK:
ADDRESSING THE HAZARDOUS IMPACT
OF PARTISAN REDISTRICTING
NATHAN S. CATANESE*
It used to be that the idea was, once every two years voters elected their
representatives, and now, instead, it's every ten years the representatives
choose their constituents.'
We are in the business of rigging elections. '2
To sum up, redistricting is a political disaster-an enormous political train
wreck that occurs every ten years. '3
INTRODUCTION
Nate Silver, noted statistician and founder of the popular blog Five
Thirty Eight, recently estimated that in the House of Representatives, out
of the four hundred and thirty-five districts, there are only thirty-five
swing districts.4 Essentially, this means that congressional districts have
become more polarized-either Republican-leaning districts are more
conservative or Democratic-leaning districts are more liberal.5 With
more members elected from districts in which there is no threat from
* J.D. Candidate, Notre Dame Law School, 2014; B.A., University of Notre Dame,
2007. I would like to thank my advisor, Professor John Copeland Nagle, for his helpful
feedback. I would also like to thank my wife, Kristen; my parents, Lisa & Sam; my brother
Jason; and my entire family for their love, support, and comments on earlier drafts.
Finally, I would like to thank the editors and members of the Notre Dame journal of Law,
Ethics & Public Policy for their hard work on this Note.
1. Jeffrey Toobin, Drawing the Line: Will Tom DeLay's Redistricting in Texas Cost Him
His Seat?, NEW YORKER, Mar. 6, 2006, at 35 (quoting Stanford Law School Professor
Pamela Karlan).
2. John Hoeffel, Six Incumbents Are a Week Away from Easy Election, WINSTON-SALEM J.,
Jan. 27, 1998, at BI (quoting former North Carolina State Senator Mark McDaniel).
3. DouGLAs J. Amy, REAL CHOICES/NEw VoIcEs: How PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTA-
TION ELECTIONS CouLD REVITALIZE AMERICAN DEMOCRACY 59 (2d ed. 2002).
4. Nate Silver, As Swing Districts Dwindle, Can a Divided House Stand?, FIVE THIHGY
EIGHT (Dec. 27, 2012, 9:46 AM), http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/27/
as-swing-districts-dwindle-can-a-divided-house-stand/. To contrast today's numbers with
recent history, he said that in 1992 there were as many as 103 swing districts. Id.
5. The 112th Congress was the most polarized Congress since Reconstruction. See
Ezra Klein, 14 Reasons Why This is the Worst Congress Ever, WONKBLOG (July 13, 2012, 8:00
AM), http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/07/13/13-reasons-
why-this-is-the-worst-congress-ever/.

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