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Supreme Court Won't Stop Gerrymandered Maps

Justices decide that federal judges can't play a role in voting maps drawn for partisan gain
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 27, 2019 9:45 AM CDT
The Supreme Court building in Washington is seen at sunset.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – A big decision on gerrymandering out of the Supreme Court on Thursday: The court ruled that federal courts have no role to play in policing political districts drawn for partisan gain, per the AP. The decision could embolden such newly drawn districts when state lawmakers undertake the next round of redistricting following the 2020 census. The justices said by a 5-4 vote that claims of partisan gerrymandering don't belong in federal court. The court's conservative, Republican-appointed majority says that voters and elected officials should be the arbiters of what is a political dispute.

In the case at hand, the court rejected challenges to Republican-drawn congressional districts in North Carolina and a Democratic district in Maryland. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, notes the Hill, and Politico sums up the thinking thusly: The court found that "attempts to gain political advantage through the redistricting process are so pervasive that allowing judges to police the practice would lead to a boundless quagmire of litigation." The ruling should help Republicans the most in the short term because the party controls most state legislatures, notes Politico.

(Read more US Supreme Court stories.)

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