Supreme Court Punts on Partisan Gerrymandering Decision

The Supreme Court refused to weigh in on the issue of partisan gerrymandering in two cases out of Wisconsin (Gill v. Whitford) and Maryland (Benisek v. Lamone). The justices sent Gill v. Whitford back down to a lower court, while Maryland was dismissed unanimously.

In Benisek v. Lamone, the justices upheld a lower court’s decision not to issue a preliminary injunction to block the 2011 congressional maps drawn by the Democratic-controlled state legislature. The high court is sticking with a decision it made it 2004 (Vieth v. Jubelirer) that there is too much legal uncertainty on the issue, and there is no metric for the court to determine what constitutes “too partisan” when lawmakers draw maps.

In the Wisconsin case, the high court ruled that the Democratic voters who brought the lawsuit failed to prove they had been injured by State Assembly maps drawn by the Republican-controlled legislature. However, these voters will have another opportunity to make their case before lower courts.

Stay tuned for more developments on this story.