Comprehending laws and contracts is impossible, unless we first learn the meaning of the words and phrases they contain.

Moderator: notmartha

Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 771
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:16 pm


Post by notmartha » Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:42 pm

Districts are artificial boundaries arbitrarily drawn on paper to create artificial planes of jurisdiction. When artificial entities argue about the placement of these artificial lines, trying to protect their phony baloney jobs, you have screams of "Gerrymandering!"

See also this article HERE.


Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language, 1828


Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, 1856


Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States, vol. 2, John Joseph Lalor, 1881

In 1814 the democratic legislature of Massachusetts proceeded to lay out the senatorial districts of the state with the single purpose of securing as many democratic senators as possible from the democratic vote. One result was, the extraordinary distortion of some of the districts, instead of the compact shape taken by a district fairly formed from contiguous territory. In one instance the district assumed a shape so distorted as of itself to suggest unfairness. The Boston Centinel published a colored map of the district, and the hand of Gilbert Stuart, the artist, completed the resemblance to some fabulous monster, to which was given the name of "the gerrymander," combining the names of the salamander and of Gerry, the democratic governor of the state. (See GERRY, ELBRIDGE.) The name, like the evil which gave rise to it, has survived to our own day. It is used either as a verb or as a noun; but it is more common to say that a party has "gerrymandered" a state than to say that it has been guilty of a "gerrymander" in a state.

—The following hypothetical description of the process of gerrymandering, though written in 1815, is still perfectly accurate:

"I suppose a case. Six counties, each containing 1,000 voters, are to be formed into three senatorial districts, each to elect four senators. These districts may be so contrived that the party predominant in the legislature at the time of arranging them, whether federal or democratic, with 2,320 voters, shall have eight senators, and the other, with 3,680 voters, shall have but four, and nevertheless every elector of the whole 6,000 shall exercise the right of suffrage. I state the number of voters of each of the six counties to which I give names:


Erie _____________________280________________________720
Perry ____________________150________________________850


I might have styled the parties big-endians and little-endians; the name is of no importance. Now for a display of political legerdemain—in order to enable the minority to rule the majority:


I. Erie___________________280________________________720

Total ___________________1030_______________________970

II. Champlain_____________340________________________660


III. Jackson ______________120 ________________________880
Perry_________________150 ________________________850

Total____________________270 ________________________1730

Thus a minority of 2,320 have twice as many senators as the majority of 3,680—their candidates having been successful in the first two districts. This political arithmetic, like every other science, has its arcana. The grand and unerring rule is to make your own majorities as small and those of your adversaries as large as possible: in other words, to throw away as few votes on your own side, and as many on the other, as is in your power."

—The process has since been varied in its application to legislative and congressional districts, but without forsaking the general rule above given. All parties, and in all states, have been guilty of the practice; and where a party has succeeded in carrying an election by demonstrating an outrageous gerrymander by its opponents, it has usually proceeded to offset it by an equally outrageous gerrymander of its own. The political history of the states of New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Indiana would give abundant but unnecessary illustration. A leading politician of the last named state is said to have remarked with satisfaction that he had so fixed his state that his opponents could not carry the legislature without at least 15,000 popular majority. The most flagrant instance of gerrymandering in congressional districts is probably the sixth district of Mississippi. This remarkable district consists of all the counties of the state which touch the Mississippi river. Its length is about 300 miles and its average breadth about 20; and its peculiar shape has given it its popular name of "the shoe-string district."
Black’s Law Dictionary, 1st Edition, 1891


The Century Dictionary, an Encyclopedic Lexicon of the English Language, 1895
Gerrymander (n)

[In humorous imitation of salamander, from a fancied resemblance to this animal of a map of one of the districts formed in the redistricting of Massachusetts by the legislature in 1811, when Elbridge Gerry was governor. The redistricting was intended (it was believed at the instigation of Gerry) to secure unfairly the election of a majority of Democratic senators. It is now known, however, that he was opposed to the measure.] In U.S. politics, an arbitrary arrangement of the political divisions of a State, in disregard to the natural or proper boundaries as indicated by geography or position, made so as to give one party an unfair advantage in elections. The effect of such proceeding has sometimes been to secure to a party a majority in the legislature of a State, or in its quota of members of Congress, at an election in which the opposite party received a majority of the total number of votes.

Gerrymander (v)

1. To district, as a State, by the unfair arrangement called a gerrymander; arrange arbitrarily and unfairly, as the boundaries of political divisions, for the sake of partisan advantage in elections.

2. To shift and manipulate, as facts, so as to force an agreement with a preconceived notion.
Gerry, Elbridge.

Born at Marblehead, Mass., July 17, 1744: died at Washington. D. C, Nov. 23. 1814. An American statesman. He was a member of the Continental Congress 1776-80 and 1783-85; a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787; member of Congress from Massachusetts 1789-93; commissioner to France 1797-98; governor of Massachusetts 18l0-12; and Vice-President 1813-14. During his governorship the legislature of Massachusetts redistricted the State in an arbitrary manner (1811), to procure a majority for the Democrats in the elections for State senators. It was erroneously thought that the redistricting was undertaken at his instigation (whence arose the word "gerrymander" in allusion to the fancied resemblance between a salamander and a map of the new districts of the State).
Black’s Law Dictionary, 2nd Edition, 1910, 4th Edition, 1968

A name given to the process of dividing a state or other territory Into the authorized civil or political divisions, but with such a geographical arrangement as to accomplish a sinister or unlawful purpose, as, for instance, to secure a majority for a given political party In districts where the result would be otherwise if they were divided according to obvious natural lines, or to arrange school districts so that children of certain religions or nationalities shall be brought within one district and those of a different religion or nationality in another district. State v. Whitford, 54 Wis. 150, 11 N. W. 424.
Dictionary of Word Origins, Joseph T. Shipley, 1955

One way of winning an election is to arrange the district limits so that your party has a majority living within it. This trick was managed by Governor Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, U.S.A., about 1812. (It has been utilized since.) On the map, one such tortuous district looked like a salamander, whereupon came the happy suggestion of gerrymander.
Webster’s New Practical Dictionary, 1957

To divide (a State, county, or the like) into districts in an unnatural way, esp. so as to give a political party an advantage over its opponents.
Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th Edition, 1979

A name given to the process of dividing a state or other territory into the authorized civil or political divisions, but with such a geographical arrangement as to accomplish an ulterior or unlawful purpose, as, for instance, to secure a majority for a given political party in districts where the result would be otherwise 'if they were divided according to obvious natural lines.

An improper or unconstitutional apportionment of legislative districts. See Gerrymander; Legislative apportionment.
Black’s Law Dictionary, 7th Edition, 1999

1. The practice of dividing a geographical area into electoral districts, often of highly irregular shape, to give one political party an unfair advantage by diluting the opposition’s voting strength.
WEX Legal Dictionary

When political or electoral districts are drawn with the purpose of giving one political group an advantage over another, a practice which often results in districts with bizarre or strange shapes. Frequently referred to as "political gerrymandering" or "jurisdictional gerrymandering." see, e.g. United States v. Hays, 515 US 737 (1995) and Miller v. Johnson, 515 US 900 (1995).

George Bernard Shaw:
Marx’s Kapital is not a treatise on socialism; it is a gerrymand against the bourgeoisie. It was supposed to be written for the working class, but the working man respects the bourgeoisie and wants to be a bourgeoisie. Marx never got a hold of him for a moment. It was the revolting sons of the bourgeoisie itself, like myself, that painted the flag red. The middle and upper classes are the revolutionary element in society. The proletariat is the conservative element.

Pennsylvania court orders new congressional map due to gerrymandering

(The above article exposes how the artificial entities can't agree on the artificial lines drawn for either the artificial election districts or the artificial court districts; and you should see the artificial and arbitrary lines for the school districts!)

Pennsylvania GOP leader defies court order on gerrymandering

North Carolina - Judges order districts redrawn
Post Reply