View Full Version : Supreme Court punts on partisan gerrymandering cases

Dr. Who
06-18-2018, 10:08 PM
The Supreme Court on Monday passed up its two opportunities this term to rule on when and whether states violate the Constitution by drawing electoral maps that sharply favor one political party, leaving unresolved the glut of challenges to political maps working their way through federal courts.
By JOSH GERSTEIN and STEVEN SHEPARD 06/18/2018 10:38 AM EDT Updated 06/18/2018 01:18 PM EDT

Ruling in a pair of cases from Wisconsin and Maryland — one brought by Republicans and one brought by Democrats — the justices gave little clarity to when so-called partisan gerrymandering might go further than the law allows.

In the Maryland case, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld a district court judge’s decision not to grant a preliminary injunction blocking the state’s 2011 congressional map. The justices said the legal uncertainty around the issue justified the judge declining to grant that unusual order.

The high court also said the urgency of the request was undermined by the fact that most of the plaintiffs — Republican voters in Western Maryland who said the state's Democratic-controlled government violated their constitutional rights by rejiggering the state's congressional lines to oust a long-serving GOP congressman — failed to sue for five years after the map was enacted.

"In considering the balance of equities among the parties, we think that plaintiffs’ unnecessary, years-long delay in asking for preliminary injunctive relief weighed against their request," the Supreme Court's unsigned opinion said.

In the Wisconsin dispute, the justices ruled unanimously that the Democratic voters challenging a state legislative map drawn in 2011 failed to prove they were injured by the drawing of the new boundaries. However, seven justices agreed to give the challengers another shot at making their case in the lower courts.

Chief Justice John Roberts' majority opinion noted that none of the individual plaintiffs in the case claimed to be in a district that was intentionally filled with a disproportionate number of Democrats ("packed") or drained of such voters ("cracked") in an attempt to give Republicans a near-guaranteed win.


(https://www.politico.com/story/2018/...g-cases-650879Is)Is SCOTUS just reluctant or looking for the perfect case?