washingtonpost.com - 6 days ago
Supreme Court to hear potentially landmark case on partisan gerrymandering
The Supreme Court declared Monday that it will consider whether gerrymandered election maps favoring one political party over another violate the Constitution, a potentially fundamental change in the way American elections are conducted.
The justices regularly are called to invalidate state electoral maps that have been illegally drawn to reduce the influence of racial minorities by depressing the impact of their votes. [Supreme Court says Virginia redistricting must be reexamined for racial bias] But the Supreme Court has never found a plan unconstitutional because of partisan gerrymandering. If it does, it would have a revolutionary impact on the reapportionment that comes after the 2020 election, and could come at the expense of Republicans, who control the process in the majority of states. The court accepted a case from Wisconsin, where a divided panel of three federal judges last year ruled last year that the state’s Republican leadership in 2011 pushed through a plan so partisan that it violated the Constitution’s First Amendment and equal rights protections. (Daron Taylor/The Washington Post) The issue will be briefed and argued in the Supreme Court term that begins in October. [Wisconsin case offers Supreme Court chance to tackle partisan gerrymandering] The justices gave themselves a bit of an out: they said they will further consider their jurisdiction over the case when it is heard on its merits. The court’s action comes at a time when the relatively obscure subject of reapportionment has taken on new significance, with many blaming the drawing of safely partisan seats for a polarized and gridlocked Congress.
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