The Supreme Court has agreed to hear two partisan gerrymandering cases this term.
In 1986, a majority of the Supreme Court agreed that partisan gerrymandering may be unconstitutional in certain circumstances. But in that case, and since then, the court has failed to agree on a standard for when partisan gerrymandering crosses the line. This week, that streak continued. In Gill v. Whitford and Benisek v. Lamone the
In Abbott v. Perez, a number of persons and advocacy groups challenged the Texas Legislature’s 2011 state legislative and congressional redistricting plan claiming it discriminated against black and Hispanic voters in violation of the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause and the Voting Rights Act. In 2011, a three-judge district court issued a remedial redistricting plan which
The challengers to the redistricting of Maryland’s Sixth Congressional District just might win — if the Supreme Court actually decides their case. In Benisek v. Lamone, in 2011, the Maryland legislature needed to move about 10,000 voters out of the Sixth Congressional District to comply with “one-person one-vote.” It moved about 360,000 Marylanders out of the
This week, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling that the state’s 2011 Congressional redistricting plan constitutes an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. This is the fourth court in a relatively short period of time to rule that partisan gerrymandering may be unconstitutional. In its ruling, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court gave the Pennsylvania General
When a three-judge panel struck down North Carolina’s 2016 Congressional redistricting plan, the case received a bit more media attention than the average Supreme Court redistricting case. That’s because it represented the third three-judge panel to strike down a partisan gerrymander — even though the Supreme Court has yet to articulate if and exactly when partisan-driven
The Supreme Court has accepted a second partisan gerrymandering case to be decided this term. The first case, Gill v. Whitford, may be more relevant to local governments as it involves state legislative redistricting; Benisek v. Lamone involves Congressional redistricting. Beyond the specifics though both cases raise the same question: whether and when partisan gerrymandering is
All eyes and ears were focused on Justice Kennedy today during the Supreme Court’s oral argument in Gill v. Whitford. In this case, the court is asked to decide whether and when it is possible to bring a claim that partisan gerrymandering (redistricting to advantage one political party) is unconstitutional. In the 2012 election, in