First of all, click here to go that New Yorker article by Jeffrey Toobin about "The Great Election Grab" that followed the 2000 census. Many of you were able to read this article in class this week, but if you need to, look over it again and then consider these questions:
- Why does Toobin describe the Supreme Court decision of Baker v. Carr as well as the Voting Rights Act as "classic demonstration[s] of the law of unintended consequences?" Do you agree with this analysis? Why/why not?
- According to Toobin, why has gerrymandering led to House members of both parties becoming more extreme and less moderate, less willing to work with members of the other party? Do you agree with this analysis? Why/why not?
- I realize you may not have all the context and background when it comes to the legal rationale and opinions on this issue, but based at least on this article and what we've talked about in class, do you think that this type of gerrymandering is indeed unconstitutional and should the Supreme Court do something about it? Why/why not?
- What are some things mentioned in the film that connect with concepts or issues we've discussed in class?
- What were 1-2 things mentioned in the film that struck you as the most surprising, most troubling, or simply stood out to you the most?
- After watching the film, do you think the situation of gerrymandering in Congressional redistricting can and/or should be changed? If so, do you have any ideas about HOW it could be changed?
- Please share any other thoughts, comments, or reactions to the film!