|The deliberate drawing of constituency boundaries to produce an electoral advantage for an interested party. The term was coined by the enemies of Republican Governor Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, who redrew a district\'s boundaries to his party\'s advantage in 1812: that district was shaped like a salamander, hence the neologism and the widespread (though false) belief that gerrymandering necessarily involves odd-shaped district boundaries. Though the widespread practice of gerrymandering has long been appreciated in the US, it has only recently been tackled by the willingness of the Supreme Court to interpret it as a constitutional violation (Grofman, 1990: see also electoral geography).Â (RJJ)
Reference Grofman, B., ed., 1990: Political gerrymandering and the courts. New York: Agathon Press.