RENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images // Gerry Font

Gerrymandering—the practice of deceptively drawing congressional districts to give one party an electoral advantage—has plagued American democracy for over a century. Boundaries are drawn illogically for the sole purpose of including voters of one party in order to give that district a partisan hold.

In the United States, the unethical practice has largely benefitted Republicans. Just last month, the majority Republican-appointed Supreme Court ruled that the federal government can't intervene with partisan gerrymandering at the state level, despite gerrymandering producing an overwhelming amount of Republican state legislatures.

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Oliver Contreras/For The Washington Post via Getty Images // Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Arnold Schwarzenegger may be a Republican, but the former California governor and actor is no fan of President Donald Trump.

The two have had their beefs in the past. For one, Schwarzenegger refused to endorse Trump for president in 2016 and implored voters to "choose country over party." And years later, he replaced Trump as the host for the president's reality show The Celebrity Apprentice.

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(L to R) House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Eric Swalwell hold a news conference in the House Visitors Center, March 24, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The United States Supreme Court has refused to block the redrawing of Pennsylvania's congressional districts. The ruling is a harsh defeat for Republicans who'd disagreed with the court's findings that the original map was heavily tilted to favor Republican districts. The ruling comes one day before the filing deadline for May's primary elections.

Republicans currently hold 12 of the state's 18 congressional districts compared to Democrats, who control only five. The new map could allow Democrats to gain an additional three to four seats in Congress, boosting the party's hopes of winning a House majority in this year's midterm elections.

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Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Democrats have a new reason to be optimistic about their chances of taking over the House of Representatives later this year. The United States Supreme Court has refused to halt a lower court ruling that requires Pennsylvania to redraw its congressional districts, which the court determined were drawn in a partisan way to help Republicans. Justice Samuel Alito, a George W. Bush appointee, issued the order.

In their initial ruling, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court noted that Republican-favored gerrymandering "clearly, plainly and palpably violates the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."

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If you have a good understanding of cartography and politics, you could easily have found work in any of the US state capitals over the last decade. The refined art of gerrymandering, defined as the practice of dividing an area into political units to give one party an electoral majority, is becoming ever more sophisticated in the era of supercomputers, algorithms and partisan politics.

Gerrymandering has a long and ignoble history. The term was coined in 1812 when Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry carved a salamander-shaped district in his state to aid the Democratic-Republican Party originally founded by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

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Voting rights advocates are declaring victory in the first of two gerrymandering cases heard by the Supreme Court. Yesterday, the high court found that the lower court applied an incorrect standard in a Virginia redistricting case. The lower court had found that, despite packing many districts by race, the challenged districts could remain as drawn because their shape met traditional gerrymandering guidelines.

In a decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court disagreed that shape should be the primary criteria, and told the lower court to reexamine the districts, focusing instead on whether racial bias was one of the motivating reasons:

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