Supreme Court Takes Up New Cases on Partisan Gerrymandering
The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to take another look at whether the Constitution bars extreme partisan gerrymandering. The move followed two decisions in June in which the justices sidestepped the question in cases from Wisconsin and Maryland.
Those earlier cases had raised the possibility that the court might decide, for the first time, that some election maps were so warped by politics that they crossed a constitutional line. Challengers had pinned their hopes on Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who had expressed ambivalence on the subject, but he and his colleagues appeared unable to identify a workable constitutional test.
Paul M. Smith, a lawyer with the Campaign Legal Center, said the Supreme Court’s rulings in the two cases will be consequential.
“If the Supreme Court fails to set limits on this undemocratic practice,” he said in a statement, “we will see a festival of copycat gerrymandering in 2020 the likes of which the country has never seen before.”