On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled against those opposed to partisan gerrymandering.
What We Know:
- Gerrymandering is when the party that controls the state legislature draws voting maps to help elect its candidates. In two cases, the vote was 5 to 4, with the more conservative court members being in the majority. Conservative justices ruled that federal courts have no role in the dispute over the practice. “We conclude that partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts,” said Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.
- The decision does not impact racial gerrymandering. For half a century, courts prohibited redistricting aimed at reducing the political representation of racial minorities, according to NBC Los Angeles. Once the census results are available, the next round of redistricting will take place in 2021.
- “For the first time ever, this court refuses to remedy a constitutional violation because it thinks the task is beyond judicial capabilities,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote in a dissent for the four liberals.
- This decision reverses the outcome of rulings in Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina and Ohio, where courts previously ordered new maps drawn. The court examined two cases from Maryland and North Carolina where strong evidence showed that elected officials charged with drawing congressional districts acted for maximum partisan advantage.
- The Supreme Court also blocked the Trump administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
The printing of the census forms is supposed to happen next week.