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October 16, 2017


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Roberts said:
"It is just not, it seems, a palatable answer to say the
ruling was based on the fact that EG was greater than 7 percent. That doesn't sound like language in the Constitution. ... In 2014, a young researcher publishes a paper, Eric McGhee publishes a paper, in which he says that the measures that were previously -- the leading measures previously, symmetry and responsiveness, are inadequate.
But I have discovered the key. I have discovered the Rosetta stone and it's -- it is the efficiency gap. And then a year later you bring this suit and you say: There it is, that is the constitutional standard. It's been finally -after 200 years, it's been finally discovered in this paper by a young researcher, who concludes in the end -- this is the end of his
paper -- after saying symmetry and responsiveness have shown to be -- looked to be inappropriate, "The measure I have offered here, relative wasted votes, is arguably" -arguably -- "a more valid and flexible measure of -- of partisan -- of partisan gerrymandering."
Now, is this -- is this the time for us to jump into this? Has there been a great body of scholarship that has tested this efficiency gap? It's full of questions. Mr. McGhee's own amicus brief outlines numerous unanswered questions with -- with this theory.
And if you're the intelligent man on the street and the Court issues a decision, and let's say the Democrats win, and that person will say: Well, why did the Democrats win? And the answer is going to be because EG was greater than 7 percent, where EG is the sigma of party X wasted votes minus the sigma of party Y wasted votes over the sigma of party X votes plus party Y votes. And the intelligent man on the street
is going to say that's a bunch of baloney. It must be because the Supreme Court preferred the Democrats over the Republicans.

Rather than scouring the web for partisan tidbit that you can unfairly use in your effort to portray any person who is not a "D" as evil, and ignorant (this post, with its snide comments about Robert's education, really is projection and cogent evidence), perhaps you should at least attempt to actually learn and think about the issues.


Hahaha, "suggesting to the public that scientific measurement" reminds me of my sociology prof stamping her foot and demanding that we all must believe that "it IS A REAL SCIENCE, DANGIT!!!".


there is something wrong if you can dish it out, but can't take it. Lubet has been deleting comments that he must feel attack him personally. Oh my.

It really is appalling that a man who made an obsession out of attacking a young ethnographer, and now who attacks a Justice of the Supreme Court as a supposed idiot opponent of science, and ignorant because he attended Harvard, feels himself unfairly criticized for his twisted attack!

Lubet attacks Roberts for questioning whether it makes sense to base a standard of CONSTITUTIONALITY on this:

A district has been unconstitutionally drawn if EG was greater than 7 percent, where EG is the sigma of party X wasted votes minus the sigma of party Y wasted votes over the sigma of party X votes plus party Y votes.

Instead of agreeing, as one would think anyone would, with this common sense observation, Lubet attacks Roberts!

When Roberts stated: "“It may be simply my educational background, but I can only describe it as sociological gobbledygook” he wasn't "express[ing] his disdain for evidence based on quantitative social science," in every case, in every instance, as Lubet claims. That is a gross mischaracterization.

THis is such a great example of the Lubet method. The merits mean nothing at all to him. All he needs to know is that Roberts was appointed by a republican. That makes any twisted tidbit of smear on Roberts a delight, right?


Roberts sounded dumb, anon; you know it, I know it, everyone knows it. He wasn't saying the constitutional argument sounded like gobbledygook, he was saying the sociological/statistical one did.


I don't know that, twbb. YOu are reading the transcript (are you reading it, or just smearing without doing so)?

Roberts stated that it doesn't make sense to base a standard of CONSTITUTIONALITY on this:

A district has been unconstitutionally drawn if EG was greater than 7 percent, where EG is the sigma of party X wasted votes minus the sigma of party Y wasted votes over the sigma of party X votes plus party Y votes.

He noted that even the author of the relatively new theory (EG) wasn't sure about many aspects of its application.

If you teach, then you know you laughable and infuriating it can be when a student starts pontificating without having done the homework.


Weak, anon. The "gobbledygook" critique was not aimed at the constitutional argument, but rather the statistical one. If he was saying what you wrongly insist he was, he could have said some version of "statisticians should not be able to set the threshold for unconstitionality."

Of course, what he really was arguing for was that the Court shouldn't have any oversight of this. Which he is arguing because we can tell, even as early as this, that he is a political justice like Alito, and this kind of sleazy gerrymandering benefits Republicans like him.



Now you are just throwing out partisan gobbledygook and making no sense. It is because you appear not to be basing your argument on reality.

The argument was about what standard the court would use to determine whether there had been partisan gerrymandering. The standard used below "EG" was a standard based on a relatively new and concededly incomplete and unvalidated theory.

You really do need to read, at least, the transcript of the argument. Your angry retorts are not even close to being accurate. You haven't even identified correctly the ISSUE, let alone the reason that Roberts stated that the EG "standard" was gobbledygook if presented as a means to determine the constitutionality of the drawn district.

I know, your party can't concede the results of the last election (or any other election it loses, apparently), but don't embarrass yourself further by continuing to argue about what a very clear transcript discloses.


There is, it is true, quite a lot of piffle and pseudo-science published a 'social science' and not a few 'social scientists' grasp on statistics seems to be confined to achieving confirmation bias.

But, judges are there for a reason - to judge, to separate the nonsense from the substance - this is for example what the Daubert decision is ultimately about. To simply throw up your hands and say 'statistics' is gobbledegook is to admit to being an ignoramus, a twit.

The efficiency gap methodology proposed is simple, straightforward and clear - and it has the other advantage of being, at least in principle neutral (since Republicans have gerrymandered more enthusiastically than Democrats it will, at least initially, hit them harder.) I have always regarded Roberts as a partisan hack, somewhat decorous about it, but a hack nonetheless. Here one sees him using gobbledegook to dodge taking a hugely important decision. No surprise.


Ask the author of the EG theory if it is complete, and whether basic questions have been adequately addressed. Read the amicus brief submitted BY THE AUTHOR.

The fake news about partisan gerrymandering being a Republican windfall, embraced by that party more "enthusiastically" is simply false. But, in the zeal to smear any judge appointed by a republican, anything goes, one supposes. As stated in the Mercury News: "Regardless of how the court rules, however, it’s amusing to see Democrats, all the way up to former President Barack Obama, expressing outrage about gerrymandering. Republicans are merely doing what Democrats did for many decades, until the GOP figured out how to turn the tables. California is virtually a case study in the politics of gerrymandering."

There is no work put into these off the cuff smears. I won't engage further, because, apparently, reading the material and actually thinking about the merits of the standard to be applied is beyond this blog: beyond both the author of the post and the comments above.

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