Supreme Court Balks in Gerrymandering Case

Published by Matt Fishman on

Today, June 27, 2019, the United States Supreme Court balked at issuing a decision in their opinion for the gerrymandering case, Rucho V. Common Cause (1). The case focused on voters from North Carolina and Maryland who “filed suits challenging their States’ congressional districting maps as unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders” (1). Previous Supreme Court gerrymandering cases “have left unresolved the question” whether such cases are “resolvable according to legal principles” or if they are “political questions that must find their resolution elsewhere” (1). Today, the Court affirmed the latter rationale, arguing that “gerrymandering claims are not justiciable”, a decision the Court says “neither condones excessive partisan gerrymandering nor condemns complaints about districting” (1). The Supreme Court’s opinion will defer to the states, which they argue “are actively addressing the issue through state constitutional amendments and legislation” and are “prohibiting drawing district lines for partisan advantage” (1). By deferring, the Court reaffirms that “Congress [has] the power to do something about partisan gerrymandering… [an] avenue for reform established by the Framers [of the Constitution]” (1).

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