In Reynolds v. Sims,1×1. 377 U.S. 533 (1964). the Supreme Court held that, under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, state legislative districts must comport with a one person–one vote principle2×2. Id. at 558, 568 (quoting Gray v. Sanders, 372 U.S. 368, 381 (1962)). : that is, states are required to make a “good faith effort to construct districts . . . as nearly of equal population as is practicable.”3×3. Id. at 577. The Court clarified in Brown v. Thomson4×4. 462 U.S. 835 (1983). that population deviations5×5. “Deviation” measures the variance of a district’s population “from the ideal,” Nat’l Conference of State Legislatures, Glossary, in Redistricting Law 2010, at 226, http://www.ncsl.org/documents/legismgt/Watson_Glossary_Lexicon.pdf [http://perma.cc/975Q-Z3ZD], which is calculated as “[t]he total state population divided by the number of seats in a legislative body,” id. at 227. under 10% are considered “minor” and are therefore afforded a presumption of constitutionality.6×6. Brown, 462 U.S. at 842 (quoting Gaffney v. Cummings, 412 U.S. 735, 745 (1973) (internal quotation marks omitted) (“[M]inor deviations from mathematical equality among state legislative districts are insufficient to make out a prima facie case of invidious discrimination . . . .” (internal quotation mark omitted)); see also id. at 852 (Brennan, J., dissenting) (characterizing 10% as a “rough threshold” under which deviations are “considered de minimis”). Consequently, courts have routinely refused to strike down state legislative plans with maximum deviations7×7. “[M]aximum deviation” is the sum of “the deviations . . . of the most underrepresented and most overrepresented districts.” Id. at 852 (Brennan, J., dissenting). within the 10% threshold8×8. See Stephanie Cirkovich, Note, Abandoning the Ten Percent Rule and Reclaiming One Person, One Vote, 31 Cardozo L. Rev. 1823, 1826 (2010) (characterizing the practical effect of Brown as establishing an “uncrossable bright line — state reapportionment plans that fall below the ten percent threshold are virtually impervious to one person, one vote claims”). — a “hands off” approach that mirrors judicial reluctance to entertain political gerrymandering claims,9×9. See, e.g., League of United Latin Am. Citizens v. Perry, 548 U.S. 399, 423 (2006). Political gerrymandering claims and equal population claims challenge different aspects of a redistricting plan: the former challenges the putative plan’s partisan political impact, whereas the latter challenges the disparity between populations (and, by implication, representation and voting power) across districts. See James R. Dalton, Note, Making Politics De Minimis in the Political Process: The Unworkable Implications of Cox v. Larios in State Legislative Redistricting and Reapportionment, 2004 BYU L. Rev. 1999, 2006–12. which may not even be justiciable at all.10×10. Vieth v. Jubelirer, 541 U.S. 267, 306 (2004) (plurality opinion) (“We would . . . decline to adjudicate these political gerrymandering claims.”). Against this backdrop, Larios v. Cox,11×11. 300 F. Supp. 2d 1320 (N.D. Ga.), aff’d mem., 542 U.S. 947 (2004). which invalidated redistricting plans for the Georgia State House and Senate that each had 9.98% maximum deviation,12×12. Id. at 1326–27, 1356. and its summary affirmance by the Supreme Court,13×13. Cox v. Larios, 542 U.S. 947 (2004) (mem.). stand as notable exceptions.14×14. See Cirkovich, supra note 8, at 1844 (characterizing Larios as an “outlier in the canon of reapportionment jurisprudence” because it “aberrantly struck down” the plans in question). Recently, in Favors v. Cuomo,15×15. No. 11-cv-5632, 2014 WL 2154871 (E.D.N.Y. May 22, 2014), modified, 2014 WL 3734378 (E.D.N.Y. July 28, 2014). the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York rejected an equal population challenge to a redistricting plan implemented for the New York State Senate with a maximum population deviation of 8.80%.16×16. Id. at *3, *11. Because the proposed redistricting plans at issue in Larios and Favors are not substantially different, the real difference between the two cases appears to be how forthright the cartographers were in expressing their political intentions while drawing the maps. While Larios may have given courts more power to rein in what has been perceived as an overly political redistricting process, Favors shows that courts have generally been unwilling to exercise that power. Because of this inclination against judicial intervention, Favors demonstrates that those looking to curb gerrymandering will need to seek political, and not judicial, relief.
Following each decennial census, the New York State Legislature is responsible for redrawing district boundaries for the State Assembly and the State Senate.17×17. See Justin Levitt, New York, All About Redistricting, http://redistricting.lls.edu/states-NY.php (last visited Mar. 1, 2015) [http://perma.cc/84C4-LVFL]. Though data were delivered by the Census Bureau on March 2011 and new districts were required by July 2012,18×18. See id. (noting data delivery dates and candidate filing deadlines). the legislature had not taken any action through October 2011.19×19. Complaint ¶¶ 83–84, Favors (No. 11-cv-5632), 2011 WL 5830607. A group of voters filed suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York20×20. The suit named numerous defendants: “the majority and minority leaders of both houses of the Legislature, as well as the New York State Governor and the members of . . . the New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (‘LATFOR’).” Favors, 2014 WL 2154871, at *1. alleging that the legislature’s inaction (which left in place district boundaries drawn after the 2000 Census), inter alia, violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment;21×21. Id. at *2. they requested that the court appoint a Special Master to conduct redistricting in place of the legislature.22×22. Complaint, supra note 19, ¶¶ 115–116. Several groups representing minority voters intervened as plaintiffs,23×23. Favors, 2014 WL 2154871, at *1 (describing “three groups [advancing an equal population challenge]: the Drayton Intervenors, representing black voters . . . , the Ramos Intervenors, representing Hispanic voters . . . and the Lee Intervenors, representing Asian voters”). and a three-judge panel was then convened.24×24. A three-judge panel “shall be convened” to hear cases concerning redistricting. 28 U.S.C. § 2284(a) (2012). Chief Judge Jacobs designated Second Circuit Judges Raggi and Lynch to join Judge Irizarry on the panel. See Designation of Three-Judge Panel Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2284(b), Favors, No. 11-cv-5632 (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 14, 2012), ECF No. 74. Meanwhile, the legislature released redistricting plans for both chambers25×25. Thomas Kaplan, Albany Redrawing Political Map with Old Lines of Thought, N.Y. Times, Mar. 12, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/nyregion/new-york-legislators-propose-a-revised-redistricting-plan.html. and subsequently passed both plans, which were then signed into law by the Governor.26×26. Favors, 2014 WL 2154871, at *1. The Legislature then submitted plan materials to the Department of Justice for preclearance. See N.Y. State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research & Reapportionment, Submission Under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (2012) [hereinafter LATFOR Submission], http://www.latfor.state.ny.us/justice2012/?sec=sendoj2012 [http://perma.cc/2DFD-XVZN]. Notably, the State Senate plan changed the size of the chamber from sixty-two members to sixty-three members27×27. See Thomas Kaplan, An Update on New York Redistricting, N.Y. Times, Mar. 15, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/nyregion/unmapped-update-on-new-york-redistricting.html (describing a challenge to “the addition of a 63rd seat in the Senate’s plan”). That challenge, made in New York state court, was rejected. See Cohen v. Cuomo, 945 N.Y.S.2d 857, 863 (Sup. Ct.), aff’d, 969 N.E.2d 754 (N.Y. 2012) (per curiam). and constructed districts in New York City and its suburbs with populations over the ideal size.28×28. See Senate Exhibit 9 – 2012 Plan Components Reports, in LATFOR Submission, supra note 26, http://www.latfor.state.ny.us/justice2012/senate1/Exhibits/009Senate%20Exhibit%209%20–%202012%20Plan%20Components%20Reports/sen12dist_level_adjusted.pdf [http://perma.cc/7T2E-ALJR] (showing positive deviations for Senate Districts 1 through 37). See generally Senate Exhibit 3 – 2012 Plan Maps – Senate Districts – Upstate New York, in LATFOR Submission, supra note 26, http://www.latfor.state.ny.us/justice2012/senate1/Exhibits/003Senate%20Exhibit%203%20–%202012%20Plan%20Maps/fs-NYS.pdf [http://perma.cc/KK55-F4CZ]. As a result, upstate New York residents received more representation — their State Senators were each accountable to fewer residents — at the expense of those living in overpopulated districts.29×29. Cf. Brown v. Thomson, 462 U.S. 835, 852 (1983) (Brennan, J., dissenting) (discussing “underrepresented and . . . overrepresented districts”). The passage of the legislature’s proposal rendered the initial claims of the original plaintiffs moot, but the enacted State Senate plan “provoked [new] claims,”30×30. Favors, 2014 WL 2154871, at *1. Two defendants, both members of the State Senate’s Democratic minority, filed a cross-claim against the other defendants on similar population deviation grounds, see Amended Answer to Amended Complaint and Cross-Claim at 9–11, Favors, No. 11-cv-5632 (E.D.N.Y. May 1, 2012), ECF No. 344-3, which was dismissed for lack of standing, see Favors, No. 11-cv-5632 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 29, 2013), ECF No. 636. including challenges on population deviation grounds by the plaintiff-intervenors.31×31. See, e.g., Ramos-Intervenors’ First Amended Complaint ¶¶ 38–43, 69, Favors, No. 11-cv-5632 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 27, 2012), ECF No. 257. The plaintiff-intervenors also alleged a second violation of the Equal Protection Clause, that the plan impermissibly discriminated on the basis of race. See Favors, 2014 WL 2154871, at *8.
The panel granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment and rejected the population deviation challenges.32×32. Favors, 2014 WL 2154871, at *11. The court also dismissed the racial discrimination claims and denied as moot the plaintiff-intervenors’ outstanding motions to compel discovery, noting that, in its in camera review of legislatively privileged materials, it “found no evidence” that racial animus was a “motivating factor,” id. at *10, in constructing the Senate plan (as would be required to find an equal protection violation under Village of Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Development Corp., 429 U.S. 252 (1977)), see Favors, 2014 WL 2154871, at *8–10. The court began by noting the maximum deviation of the Senate plan was 8.80% — within the 10% threshold established in Brown.33×33. Favors, 2014 WL 2154871, at *4–5. Therefore, as long as a rational basis existed for the population deviations, “the burden [fell] upon the Plaintiffs to offer evidence from which a reasonable fact finder could conclude that the redistricting process was tainted by an impermissible motive.”34×34. Id. at *5. Because the plan fell within the 10% threshold, the additional statistical analyses offered by the plaintiff-intervenors were insufficient.35×35. Id. at *6. The court further accepted the “nondiscriminatory rationale for the deviations” offered by the defendants36×36. Id. — the plan “preserv[ed] the cores of prior districts and avoid[ed] contests between incumbent representatives.”37×37. Id. at *5. Reaffirming that redistricting was “‘a political and legislative process’ rather than a judicial one,”38×38. Id. at *6 (quoting Gaffney v. Cummings, 412 U.S. 735, 749 (1973)). the court concluded that the plaintiff-intervenors “fail[ed] to adequately demonstrate an impermissible motive.”39×39. Id. at *5.
The panel noted the plaintiff-intervenors “lean[ed] heavily” on Larios40×40. Id. at *6. The Senate Minority cross-claimants, for example, summarized Larios’s holding as: “[I]t is unconstitutional to deviate from population equality in order to gain partisan advantage for one geographic region at the expense of another.” Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment on the Equal Population Claims at 4, Favors, No. 11-cv-5632 (E.D.N.Y. July 20, 2012), ECF No. 453. — one of the few instances in which a plan with less than 10% maximum deviation was invalidated — but then held that Larios was insufficiently comparable.41×41. See Favors, 2014 WL 2154871, at *6. Though the panel accepted that “the defective plan in Larios possessed statistical characteristics . . . roughly comparable to . . . those of the Senate Plan at issue,” it distinguished Larios by noting that the Larios record contained “explicit evidence of discrimination” in two problematic areas42×42. Id. : First, the process in Larios was marked by “explicit regional favoritism.”43×43. Id. Second, the Larios plans featured “implementation of incumbent protection” to the benefit of only one party.44×44. Id. The court also reasoned, in a footnote, that there was a “practical distinction”: the Larios plans were passed by a Democratic-controlled legislature and signed by a Democratic governor, whereas the Favors plans were passed by a Democratic-controlled State Assembly and a Republican-controlled State Senate, and were signed by a Democratic governor. Id. at *6 n.7. Because the Favors plan was “not the unilateral product of a legislative majority,” it was “the result of precisely the sort of political process that . . . should not be lightly displaced.” Id. Additionally, the Larios cartographers, unlike the Favors defendants, failed to offer rationales for the regional pattern in population disparities and incumbent protection that conformed to “traditional redistricting principles.”45×45. Id. at *6. These criteria include “contiguity, compactness, preserving the cores of existing districts, desiring not to pit incumbents against one another, [and] respecting then-current political subdivisions and county lines.” Id. at *7 (quoting Rodriguez v. Pataki, 308 F. Supp. 2d 346, 367 (S.D.N.Y.), aff’d mem., 543 U.S. 997 (2004)) (internal quotation mark omitted). Having distinguished Larios, the court instead found that Rodriguez v. Pataki,46×46. 308 F. Supp. 2d 346. a 2004 case rejecting a population deviation challenge to the 2002 New York State Senate redistricting plan,47×47. Id. at 370–71. The plan challenged in Rodriguez had a maximum deviation of 9.78%, id. at 365, and featured “overpopulat[ed] . . . New York City districts,” id. at 370. Rodriguez, like Larios, was summarily affirmed. See Rodriguez, 543 U.S. 997 (2004) (mem.). “offer[ed] a closer factual analogue.”48×48. Favors, 2014 WL 2154871, at *7. The court concluded that Larios and Rodriguez, taken together, “reinforce[d] [the] conclusion that summary judgment must be granted . . . on the Plaintiffs’ equal population claim.”49×49. Id. The summary judgment order was modified on denial of reconsideration to remedy the accidental exclusion of the Lee intervenors. See Favors v. Cuomo, No. 11-cv-5632, 2014 WL 3734378, at *2 (E.D.N.Y. July 28, 2014).
Though the court viewed the redistricting processes and outcomes in Favors and Larios as sufficiently different such that it upheld the Favors map, the maps themselves are rather similar. The difference between Favors and Larios then — and that between permissible plans and impermissible ones more generally — lies in the underlying process. By focusing on process rather than outcome,50×50. Cf. Samuel Issacharoff & Pamela S. Karlan, Where to Draw the Line?: Judicial Review of Political Gerrymanders, 153 U. Pa. L. Rev. 541, 542 (2004) (describing “the [Supreme] Court’s failure to confront ends-oriented redistricting practices”). the panel declined to exercise the judicial authority evident in Larios, and in doing so demonstrated that courts are unlikely to provide the limitations on gerrymandering sought by opponents of the practice.
Larios showed that the door for redistricting challenges, previously thought closed to political gerrymandering claims, remained at least somewhat open to equal population claims — indeed, some commentators expected that courts would be more skeptical when evaluating redistricting plans in its wake.51×51. See, e.g., Thomas L. Brunell & Whitney Ross Manzo, The Impact of Cox v. Larios on State Legislative Population Deviations, 13 Election L.J. 351, 353 (2014) (describing the “considerable amount of uncertainty” that Larios introduced “into the 2010 redistricting process”). Though it did not do so, the Favors court very well could have exercised its authority under Larios: the cartographic characteristics to which the Larios court objected — population deviation and regional population disparity — can also be found in Favors. Indeed, the panel itself noted that the plans had “roughly comparable”52×52. Favors, 2014 WL 2154871, at *6. maximum population deviations — 9.98% in Larios and 8.80% in Favors. The plans also share a similar degree of regional population disparity. The Larios court found “that regional favoritism substantially drove the population deviations” because “every single district that was underpopulated” in the Senate plan was located in two areas of the state and the “vast majority of the House districts” fit the same pattern.53×53. Larios v. Cox, 300 F. Supp. 2d 1320, 1342 (N.D. Ga. 2004). The court further held that the plans “must be struck down on this basis alone.” Id. (emphasis added). By this reasoning, then, the Favors plan’s deviations were also driven by regional favoritism, as its regional population disparity was as severe as that of the Larios Senate map (and more severe than that of the House map) — every underpopulated district, not just the “vast majority,” was north of Westchester County.54×54. See Senate Exhibit 9, supra note 28 (showing negative deviations for Senate Districts 38 through 63). This favoritism is underscored by the addition of the new sixty-third seat — Senate District 4655×55. See Jimmy Vielkind, Democrats Lining Up Behind Tkaczyk?, Times Union (Albany): Capitol Confidential (June 6, 2012, 9:03 AM), http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/134334/democrats-lining-up-behind-tkaczyk [http://perma.cc/T8X8-8ZCK] (describing Senate District 46 as “newly minted”). — in upstate New York, despite that part of the state having already had underpopulated districts and having had a lower rate of population growth compared to the state as a whole.56×56. The population of downstate New York (defined to be New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County) increased from 11,685,650 in 2000 to 11,957,128 in 2010, an increase of 2.3%. The population of upstate New York (defined to be the rest of the state) increased from 7,290,807 to 7,420,974, an increase of 1.8%. American FactFinder, U.S. Census Bureau, http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/DEC/10_PL/P1/0400000US36.05000 (last visited Mar. 1, 2015) (2010 Census Data); American FactFinder, U.S. Census Bureau, http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/DEC/00_PL/PL001/0400000US36.05000 (last visited Mar. 1, 2015) (2000 Census Data). Indeed, population growth in downstate New York is what made the change in chamber size permissible at all.57×57. See Cohen v. Cuomo, 969 N.E.2d 754, 755–56 (N.Y. 2012) (discussing mathematical treatment of population growth in Nassau, Queens, Richmond, and Suffolk counties).
Further, just as the population deviations in Larios could not be justified by adherence to traditional redistricting criteria like compactness, contiguity, and respect for existing political subdivisions, nor should the deviations in Favors have been. The Larios court noted that the lack of compactness could be “discern[ed] . . . just by looking at the maps themselves.”58×58. Larios, 300 F. Supp. 2d at 1331. The same holds true for the challenged Favors plan: one news article, for example, described the shapes of new districts as “suggest[ing] a stealth bomber, an assorted menagerie, a few cartoon humans, a mushroom and SpongeBob SquarePants.”59×59. Michael Kolomatsky, It’s the 37th District. Or Is It a Squirrel?, N.Y. Times: City Room (Jan. 27, 2012, 3:21 PM), http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/27/its-the-37th-district-or-is-it-a-squirrel. Using the “Perimeter-to-Area measure” of compactness cited in Larios,60×60. Larios, 300 F. Supp. 2d at 1331. “[A] value of one indicates perfect compactness,” and more compact districts will have greater Perimeter-to-Area measures. Id. the Favors plan, at an average measure of 0.23,61×61. This measure was calculated using geographic data published by the Census Bureau. See TIGER/Line Shapefile, 2014, State, New York, Current State Legislative District (SLD) Upper Chamber State-based, U.S. Census Bureau (June 1, 2014), http://www2.census.gov/geo/tiger/TIGER2014/SLDU/tl_2014_36_sldu.zip. See generally TIGER/Line Shapefiles Technical Documentation, U.S. Census Bureau (Aug. 2014), https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/pdfs/tiger/tgrshp2014/TGRSHP2014_TechDoc.pdf [http://perma.cc/427C-CJN5]. is actually less compact than the House plan at issue in Larios, which had an average measure of 0.24.62×62. Larios, 300 F. Supp. 2d at 1331. Contiguity, which the Larios court deemed lacking in the Georgia plans,63×63. See id. at 1332. could be viewed as lacking in Favors too. Though “all of the districts [were] technically contiguous” in Larios, many districts were connected by “a lake or other body of water.”64×64. Id. The same holds true in Favors — for example, Senate Districts 23 and 60 are each “only contiguous at low tide.”65×65. 2014 Redistricting Cuomo Constitutional Amendment, NYConstitution.org, http://nyconstitution.org/issue/2014-Redistricting-Cuomo-Amendment (last visited Mar. 1, 2015) [http://perma.cc/2FWN-VU5W]. Respect for political subdivisions like counties and municipalities is similarly questionable,66×66. See “Can the Plan”: How the 2012 Redistricting Deal Denies New Yorkers Fair Representation and the Fundamentally Flawed Redistricting “Reform,” N.Y. Pub. Interest Res. Grp. 2 (June 2014), http://www.nypirg.org/pubs/goodgov/2014.06.23Redistricting-CanthePlan/cantheplan.pdf [http://perma.cc/6RTD-64LL] (commenting that many districts show “little regard for municipal boundaries and common sense communities of interest”); see also Editorial, Albany’s Cynical Mapmakers, N.Y. Times, Feb. 3, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/04/opinion/albanys-cynical-mapmakers.html (noting that the city of Rochester, split across three Senate districts, could be contained within a single district). and though the plan at issue in Favors may have better “preserve[d] the cores of existing districts”67×67. Favors, 2014 WL 2154871, at *5. and may not have “pit[ted] incumbents against one another,”68×68. Id. at *7. it was measured against the 2002 plan, which itself disregarded traditional redistricting principles.69×69. See, e.g., Danny Hakim, The Shape of Things, N.Y. Times: Empire Zone (Apr. 12, 2007, 4:30 PM), http://empirezone.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/04/12/the-shape-of-things (noting a description of then–Senate District 51 as “Abraham Lincoln riding on a vacuum cleaner” (internal quotation marks omitted)). Numerous districts in the 2002 plan were connected only by water, and Senate District 14 was not contiguous at all. See Senate Exhibit 6 – 2002 Plan Maps – New York City Senate Districts, in LATFOR Submission, supra note 26, http://www.latfor.state.ny.us/justice2012/senate1/Exhibits/006Senate%20Exhibit%206%20–%202002%20Plan%20Maps/NYCity_Senate.pdf [http://perma.cc/PB95-ZZBH].
Because the statistical and geographic characteristics of the Favors and Larios plans are so similar, these cases show that the difference between impermissible and permissible plans is not what the maps say for themselves, but rather what the cartographers might have said in drawing them70×70. See Cirkovich, supra note 8, at 1840 (describing Larios as “remarkable” based on the “ample testimony about what motivated [defendants] to malapportion Georgia’s election districts”). — the ultimate basis on which the Favors court distinguished the two cases.71×71. Favors, 2014 WL 2154871, at *6 (“[T]he record in Larios attested to the facial presence of discrimination . . . .”). State legislators attempting to craft a redistricting plan that serves their partisan ends have every incentive, then, to avoid expressing their political intentions and disregard for traditional redistricting criteria.72×72. Cf. Larios v. Cox, 300 F. Supp. 2d 1320, 1328, 1330, 1332 (N.D. Ga. 2004) (identifying statements by cartographers). Instead, as long as they are discreet about those intentions and leave themselves some criteria to which they can claim adherence,73×73. This requirement is not particularly stringent because traditional redistricting criteria often conflict with each other and with other legal requirements. See, e.g., Paul L. McKaskle, The Voting Rights Act and the “Conscientious Redistricter,” 30 U.S.F. L. Rev. 1, 85 (1995) (noting that adherence to existing political subdivisions “may conflict with the Voting Rights Act”). For example, the state legislative plans invalidated in Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533 (1964), featured the ultimate form of respect for existing political subdivisions: each county served as a single district, see id. at 539. almost any plan that they craft (within the 10% threshold) should withstand judicial scrutiny,74×74. See Cirkovich, supra note 8, at 1841–48 (arguing that “legislative privilege and the political nature of reapportionment have combined . . . to make [population deviation challenges] unwinnable,” id. at 1826). Population deviations in many state legislative maps remain close to, or even above, Brown’s 10% threshold, see Brunell & Manzo, supra note 51, at 356 (showing fifteen state plans with maximum deviations above 8.80%, the deviation challenged in Favors, including three above 10%), though Larios may have decreased the magnitude of such deviation, id. at 359. and indeed, deviation-based challenges to such maps — Favors being the most recent example — continue to fail.75×75. See, e.g., Bonneville Cnty. v. Ysursa, 129 P.3d 1213, 1215 (Idaho 2005); In re 2012 Legislative Districting, 80 A.3d 1073, 1095 (Md. 2013); Gonzalez v. State Apportionment Comm’n, 53 A.3d 1230, 1231 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2012), cert. denied, 59 A.3d 601 (N.J. 2013) (unpublished table decision). As Favors shows, Larios’s lesson is not that state legislatures should minimize population deviations in achieving their partisan ends in redistricting, but merely that they should be discreet in doing so. Given the blatantly political ends that state legislatures can achieve while still withstanding judicial scrutiny, those seeking to limit gerrymandering are unlikely to find much help from the courts.