The Supreme Court on Monday threw out a challenge to maps drawn by Republicans for state legislative and congressional district boundaries in Michigan.
The decision was expected because the court declared in June that such challenges involve an issue that is essentially political, beyond the authority of federal courts to resolve on legal grounds.
Monday’s ruling came in a lawsuit filed after Republicans redrew the political boundary lines after the 2010 census. Democrats claimed that the new plan would perpetuate Republican control by preventing Democrats from forming majorities.
In April, a panel of three federal judges declared the maps to be an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander and ordered the legislature to come up with a new plan for nine congressional and 25 state legislative districts. It also said the state must hold a special election for state senators in 2020.
“Evidence points to only one conclusion: partisan considerations played a central role in every aspect of the redistricting process,” the court said.
Indeed, there is a very good chance that Rucho will, in terms of its effects, actually be worse than Shelby County — after all, preclearance didn’t cover some jurisdictions in which Republicans racially suppress the vote, and would be a dead letter with Barr as Attorney General in any case. But every election that it is impossible for Republicans to lose even if they’re beaten decisively at the polls has major effects. And this case also reminds is that 1)Roberts is claiming that it’s impossible for courts to do what courses have in many cases done, and 2)his specious reasoning was already dispositively rebutted nearly 60 years ago.
Anyway, NRO definitely gets the point of Rucho, and constitutional law has nothing to do with it: