Supreme Court will hear two new gerrymandering challenges
The U.S. Supreme Court will once again tackle the question of political gerrymandering—and whether there should be any limitations on the practice—later this year.
The justices announced Friday that they would hear a pair of cases appealing lower court ruling that struck down congressional districts for being unfairly crafted to benefit one party. In a case coming out of North Carolina, Republicans are appealing a district court ruling that struck down the state's latest congressional map (drawn in 2016 after a previous map was also struck down by the courts) for being a partisan gerrymander. In the other case, Maryland's Democratic attorney general is appealing a district court ruling that found the state's congressional map, drawn in 2011, unfairly turned a Republican-leaning district into a Democratic one.
Together, the two cases present a new opportunity for the high court to provide further legal guidance regarding partisan map-making before all 50 states are scheduled to redraw their congressional and state legislative district maps following the 2020 census.
Paul Smith, a vice president with the Campaign Legal Center, which is working on the North Carolina case this year, said Friday he believed the new challenge was "following the road map" outlined by Roberts last year.