Gerrymandering Back on Supreme Court's Agenda

The court says it will hear arguments in March
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 4, 2019 4:05 PM CST
Updated Jan 4, 2019 4:35 PM CST
The Supreme Court in Washington DC.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – The Supreme Court is plunging back into the issue of whether electoral districts can be too partisan. Disputes have arisen in cases involving North Carolina's heavily Republican congressional map and a Democratic congressional district in Maryland, and the justices said Friday they will hear arguments in March, the AP reports. The high court could come out with the first limits on partisan politics in the drawing of electoral districts, but also could ultimately decide that federal judges have no role in trying to police political mapmaking. The court took up the issue of partisan gerrymandering last term in cases from Wisconsin and the same Maryland district, but the justices failed to reach a decision on limiting political line-drawing for political gain.

Justice Anthony Kennedy had said he was open to limits. He has since retired, and Justice Brett Kavanaugh has taken Kennedy's seat. He has no judicial record on the issue. The court again has taken one case in which Democrats are accused of unfairly limiting Republicans' political power and one in which Republicans are the alleged culprits. In both cases, however, lower courts have found that the party in charge of redistricting egregiously violated the rights of voters in the other party.

(Read more US Supreme Court stories.)

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