Quartz: The Supreme Court case that could shift how Americans vote rests on a simple math equation


If the Supreme Court accepts this standard, it will set limits to partisan redistricting that will affect the whole country. If it rejects it, incumbent parties may feel free to gerrymander even more. Paul Smith, vice-president of litigation and strategy at the Campaign Legal Center (CLC), will be arguing the case before the court. We asked him to explain how it will work.

This summer, Supreme Court justices will sit in their chambers reading briefs. CLC and Wisconsin’s litigators will each send in merit briefs that argue their point of view. “Wisconsin goes first, then us, and then a reply by Wisconsin,” Smith said. “A week after each of the parties files, amicus briefs supporting that side will be filed” by third parties, such as scholars and voting-rights organizations.

The justices will emerge in October to hear the litigators’ oral arguments. Each side’s selected lawyer gets just half an hour to speak. Justices frequently interrupt with questions. The court then writes its opinion, which might not come out until spring 2018 or later.

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