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Document Type

Note

Publication Date

Spring 2017

Publication Citation

92 Indiana Law Journal 783 (2017)

Abstract

In 1863, on the hallowed fields at Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln encapsulated a core principle of democracy by describing our system as a “government of the people, by the people, [and] for the people.” This definition accurately depicts the ideal of democracy—that supreme power is vested in the citizenry, not in the government itself. Since the American model is based on representative democracy instead of direct democracy, extreme scrutiny must be placed upon the system of choosing representatives if government is to accurately represent the will of the people.

One of the greatest abuses of a citizen’s voting rights is gerrymandering. While scholars have written extensively advocating the need for restraints on legislative abuses of the redistricting process, little has been written about gerrymandering from an international perspective. This Note seeks to bridge that gap. Part I of this Note provides more context on the history and dangers of gerrymandering. Part II examines the state of redistricting commissions within the United States. Part III examines global practices for independent commissions. Finally, this Note concludes by recommending practices that could be implemented in the United States.

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