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SCOTUS issues rulings in Gill v. Whitford and Benisek v. Lamone, Declines to Weigh in on whether Maps can be struck down as Partisan Gerrymanders

posted Jun 29, 2018, 6:42 AM by Rahni Jere Sumler   [ updated Jun 29, 2018, 6:43 AM ]
Update summary reposted from Ballotpedia's Ballot Bulletin

The Supreme Court of the United States issued rulings yesterday in Gill v. Whitford and Benisek v. Lamone, two partisan gerrymandering challenges.

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The plaintiffs in Gill alleged that Wisconsin's state legislative district plan had been gerrymandered to benefit Republicans. The plaintiffs in Benisek alleged that Maryland's Sixth Congressional District was drawn to benefit Democrats. In neither of these rulings did the court directly address whether a district map can be struck down as unconstitutional for giving one political party advantage over another. Instead, today's rulings were made on standing grounds (as in Gill) or procedural grounds (as in Benisek).

As a result of these rulings, no immediate changes to any district maps are expected. Both cases will return to federal district court for further proceedings. The only remaining redistricting case before the court this term is Abbott v. Perez, a case involving allegations of racial gerrymandering in Texas' congressional and state legislative district maps. A decision is expected before month's end.

At this time, there are no redistricting cases on the court's docket for the coming term, although the court is expected to consider a partisan gerrymandering challenge out of North Carolina at its private conference on [June 21, 2018]. 

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