We have a serious problem with political parties gerrymandering congressional (and state legislative) districts in this country. Gerrymandering allows the party in power to make sure they maintain a majority regardless of how the public votes. Some examples of gerrymandered districts are shown above, but not all unfair districts are as obvious as those.
It is gerrymandering that allowed the Republicans in Congress to maintain their majority in 2012, even though they got over a million less votes than Democratic congressional candidates did. The Supreme Court has outlawed gerrymandering, but it continues because it is very hard to prove a district was drawn to be unfair to a particular party. There may now be a simple solution to this problem.
Law professor Nicholas Stephanopoulos and political scientist Eric McGhee have come up with a fairly simple mathematical formula for determining if districts were gerrymandered. It is currently being used in court to attack some gerrymandering in Wisconsin, and it has already survived two court challenges. It will undoubtably wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Here is how Think Progress describes the new formula. What do you think of it? Does it make sense? Should it be used in all states?