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Lab Report

Lab Report: A Closer Look at Partisan Gerrymandering

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

A man votes in Wisconsin.
Jim Young/Reuters

Drawing the lines: States are watching closely after the U.S. Supreme Court decided to review partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin—as legal battles over redistricting wage across the country, including in Pennsylvania and Maryland. The New York Times reports:

Several election lawyers said it was unclear how far-reaching a Supreme Court ruling in the Wisconsin case might be, given that other election maps are being challenged at federal and state levels using different legal arguments. ... But they said it was an important moment — and noted that it could change the landscape when states begin working on their next set of election maps a few years from now.

“The Supreme Court is a pretty big planet, and its gravitational pull is pretty strong,” said Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles who tracks redistricting cases on his All About Redistricting website.

Tech’s disruption: In MIT Technology Review, CityLab’s Richard Florida writes about the role tech stars have played in “winner-take-all-urbanism,” and argues for firms to embrace more inclusive development via housing, transit, and jobs.

Looks like a bus… : Cutting through the jokes yesterday about Lyft’s failure to recognize that its new shuttle concept is essentially a bus, Slate warns of the real threats posed by privatization of public services.

Justice Department steps in: The Trump administration is inserting itself into Texas’ legal battle over sanctuary cities, with the U.S. Department of Justice asking to be involved in two court hearings next week—just as Austin seeks an injunction to block the state bill outlawing sanctuaries. (American Statesman)

Penn Station overhaul: A $1.6 billion addition will bring new train halls, retail, and dining to Penn Station, under plans New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has now made official. The governor is also calling for reduced fares for commuters during this summer’s emergency repair work for Amtrak. (Architect’s Newspaper, NBC)

Small town resentments: In small-town Wisconsin, a Guardian writer gets a snapshot of rural residents’ perspectives on urban America, finding resentment over the “attention, resources, and respect” cities subsume.

The urban lens:

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About the Author

  • Katie Pearce writes the Lab Report, CityLab’s morning news roundup.