Gerrymandering: America’s Most Dangerous Maps?

Ever wonder why congressional districts are shaped so oddly? The answer is gerrymandering: Drawing districts in part to sway election outcomes. State legislators across the nation are redrawing their electoral boundaries. But who, exactly, does gerrymandering benefit? And does it deserve the bad rap it gets? Political scientist Michael Munger helps explain the history and process of gerrymandering. “The United States, perhaps uniquely, has wrestled with this in a way most counties don’t have to deal with,” he says.

Listen on NPR’s ‘1A’


Equitable Growth in Conversation: An interview with William Darity Jr.

“I think that the run-up in inequality that we’ve observed in recent years is closely tied to a set of social policies that have produced virtually unlimited capacity to generate extraordinary levels of wealth. … In short, I think we can look directly at a set of policies and, more recently, at the advent of the Great Recession to understand the rise in economic inequality,” says economist William “Sandy” Darity,  the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy.

Read More From The Washington Center for Equitable Growth

Understanding the Freedom Caucus

“Everyone who cares about Congress should take note. Last week the House Freedom Caucus hijacked our legislative branch and trumped the Republican Party. It wasn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last,” writes Bradley Harris, a master’s of public policy candidate at the Sanford School of Public Policy.

Read More in the Sun-Sentinel

A Budget for the People?

“The core purpose of federal taxing and spending is to provide the American people with the government services and public goods they need, want, and deserve. The new administration’s budget, if we can even call it that, does nothing of the sort,” writes Mark Paul, an economist and postdoctoral associated at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity.

Read More on Medium

A Novel Way That Citizens Can End Gerrymandering

“North Carolina’s current system of gerrymandered voting districts is indeed harmful. Undemocratic and alien to American values, gerrymandering – drawing electoral districts to favor certain parties and minimize competitiveness of general elections – also undermines our society in many ways. The answer to this problem, we believe, may seem counterintuitive, but is compelling: convince non-Republicans to register Republican or, almost as usefully, Unaffiliated,” write economics professors Charles Becker, Bruce Caldwell, Edward Tower and Michael Munger.

Read More in The Charlotte Observer

Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch and the Rise of Originalism

“People like (Bork and Scalia) have really succeeded in persuading everyone from the right to the left that we ought to do more historical research in constitutional interpretation than maybe we did under the Warren court,” says law professor Ernest Young. “Everyone is pretty much persuaded that history counts, (but) very few people think that only history matters.”

Read More in The Christian Science Monitor

Inside CEO, Consumer Activism In Trump Era

Donald Trump represents the ultimate intersection of business and politics, and within that crisscross sits a new type of business activism. Corporate CEOs have been vocal about the president’s action on immigrants and refugees. Aaron Chatterji, associate professor at The Fuqua School of Business, is interviewed about the trend.

Listen on WFAE

NC Legislators Eye National Constitutional Convention

Republican legislation in the North Carolina General Assembly seeks a convention of the states for constitutional amendments that would “impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.” However, says law professor Ernest Young, “… Whatever changes people might favor, people are mostly happy with the Constitution.”

Read More at NC Policy Watch

Big-Money Race Foreseen as a Pritzker Eyes a Kennedy in Illinois

Sanford School professor Nicholas Carnes called the brewing Illinois governor’s race an “extreme example” in a trend toward wealthier candidates. “You almost never see middle- or working-class people running,” he says. “It’s often the case that, in a primary election for a state or federal office, you won’t see anyone run without significant personal wealth.”

Read More in Bloomberg

How the Democrats Lost North Carolina

“If progressives are to win again, they need to learn from the mistakes and successes of recent national campaigns. Rural America is not one unified region with one cultural narrative and one political preference. In North Carolina, there are Democrats aplenty in rural regions, as Obama’s rural wave underscores. The good news for progressives is that there is a path forward,” writes history professor Gunther Peck.

Read More in Medium

America’s New Opposition: The Left Reborn

“The mass protests in response to Trump’s policies, both at the women’s march and at airports around the country, in the last weeks show a sense of urgency and willingness to fight for robust legal equality and inclusiveness. At the very moment when establishment politics have been severely undermined — the GOP hijacked by Trump, the Democrats confounded by Hillary Clinton’s loss — the American left has been reborn,” writes law professor Jedediah Purdy.

Read More in New Republic

Higher Legislative Pay Just Gets You Richer Lawmakers

The Duke study found states that pay lawmakers more still have legislatures dominated by white-collar professionals. “Reformers argue higher pay … would have the benefit of increasing economic diversity in our political institutions,” said Nicholas Carnes, lead author and assistant professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy. “Our research shows this isn’t true.”

Read More in The State