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This Day at Law

First redistricting "gerrymander" created

On February 11, 1812, Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry signed an electoral redistricting law that favored his party - the practice became known as "gerrymandering" in reference to Gerry and the unusual, allegedly salamander-like district that resulted. See the original 1812 political cartoon of The Gerry-mander in the Boston Gazette.

Japan enacts Meiji Constitution

On February 11, 1889, the Meiji Constitution of Japan was promulgated by Emperor Meiji. Officially titled, the "Constitution of the Empire of Japan", the Meiji Constitution went into effect on November 29, 1890 and served as the country's fundamental law through the rise of Japanese Empire until the end of World War II. On May 2, 1947, the Meiji Constitution was replaced by the Constitution of Japan, which serves as the country's governing document today. The Meiji constitution created a constitutional monarchy in Japan with the Emperor serving as a powerful executive. The document furthermore created a parliament, called the Diet as well as an independent judiciary. Its passage came as part of the Meiji Restoration, in which the Japanese Imperial throne retook power from the Shogunate and guided the nation into the modern world.

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