The Supreme Court once again will take up unresolved constitutional questions about partisan gerrymandering, agreeing Friday to consider rulings from two lower courts that found congressional maps in North Carolina and Maryland so extreme that they violated the rights of voters.
The North Carolina map was drawn by Republicans, the Maryland districts by the state’s dominant Democrats.
The Supreme Court has never found a state’s redistricting map so infected with politics that it violates the Constitution. It passed up the chance last term to settle the issue of whether courts have a role in policing partisan gerrymandering, sending back on technical rulings challenges to a Republican-drawn plan in Wisconsin, and the challenged Maryland map.
But there will be a new set of justices considering the issue. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who had held out the belief that some gerrymandering could be so political as to be unconstitutional, has been replaced with Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, who may have a more conservative view on the issue.
“The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to target African-Americans for vote suppression with ‘almost surgical precision.‘ Also, durr, math is hard, durr.” — John Roberts, June 2019.