In a case that was pending since early October, the justices said challengers to the design of 99 state Assembly districts in Wisconsin can not tackle the entire map at once but must target their specific districts.
The Maryland case came to the court in an early stage-after a three-judge district court denied the challengers' motion for a preliminary injunction.
The usual course when the justices find that parties to a lawsuit lack the right to sue, or standing, is to dismiss the case.
Republican Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel praised the unanimous decision by the high court. Perhaps most importantly, the Court's decision signals the continuing importance of other ways to fix the problem, through state courts, state constitutions, and the people themselves.
That the Supreme Court unanimously backed this anti-partisan view is a welcome sign. "Or from insisting, when they do, that partisan officials stop degrading the nation's democracy". For the courts, the effect of gerrymandering on political or social groups is not a matter of justice. "There is a bipartisan body, and that - and I would argue - that's the best you can hope for is a bipartisan body". In 2004, Kennedy hinted that he might be willing to limit partisan gerrymandering under the First Amendment. She suggested what kind of evidence and claims challengers to gerrymandered maps could consider bringing in the future. Litigation will now continue in a lower court.
The cases were closely watched around the country, including in OH, where the state's Republican-controlled state government implemented a similarly partisan remap when it redrew congressional district lines in 2011. A federal district court had allowed the current map to remain in place as it deliberated, and the Supreme Court upheld that decision.
While the decisions in these cases do little to resolve partisan gerrymandering, gerrymandering plaintiffs still face the prospect that as the liberal justices draw closer to retirement, their shot at ending gerrymandering in the Supreme Court begins to diminish.
Nate Silver, the numbers guru who was trashed by fellow liberals for continuing to insist Donald Trump could very easily win the presidency, lays out 8 computer models of how districts could be drawn and it is time to insist districts be drawn to force politicians to pay attention to constituents rather than advance one party over the other. And Democrats flipped two State Senate seats this year - Wisconsin's 10th Senate District and Wisconsin's 1st Senate District.
Redistricting in most states is done by the party in power, though some states in the interest of fairness assign the task to independent commissions.
EastEnders’ Letitia Dean pays tribute to Leslie Grantham
RIP big man... loved working with ya in panto... you made me laugh and I learnt a lot from you too. absolutely gutted". Grantham was divorced from his wife of 31 years Jane Laurie in 2013, and is survived by his three grown-up children.
Challengers to Wisconsin's lines told the justices in October that the GOP-drawn lines violated their constitutional right to equal protection by diluting the weight of their votes.
Under normal circumstances, Roberts wrote, "we usually direct the dismissal" of the case.
The cases appeared to offer the justices an opportunity to strike down gerrymandering without favoring one political party, since the Wisconsin maps were drawn by Republicans and the Maryland ones by Democrats. For instance, the lead plaintiff, a Democrat, lived in a district including Madison that would perform well for Democrats even under a less-gerrymandered map.
"One way to reform gerrymandering would be to mandate contiguous political districts", Kamarck said.
In virtually all of those states, the governor has a vote - or a veto - on whatever map the state legislature produces following the next census in 2020 and the redistricting of the country's congressional (and state legislative) lines that follows.
Over the past few decades, computer software programs have vastly improved the art of line-drawing for partisan advantage. With Ohio's policy greenlighted, over a dozen states have indicated that they will adopt a similar system.
The Supreme Court has ruled on multiple occasions that race can not be a major factor in the way lines are drawn, but it has yet to set a standard for how much politics is too much. Some of the maps in The Old Line State are so funky that one has been compared to a praying mantis. And there are multiple paths to victory: through the 23 Republican-held districts that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonLewandowski says "womp womp" at story of young girl being separated from mother at border Giuliani: FBI asked me about tease of a "surprise" before election Republicans tear into IG finding on Clinton probe MORE won, the 21 that flipped from President Obama to Trump, or the 61 with a partisan voter index of R+8 or less.
That isn't the case everywhere. The Republican-controlled Assembly, they argued, "cracked" and "packed" Democratic voters in order to ensure Republican dominance. Individuals may have a political identity - Democrat or Republican or something else - but they must also recognize the inherent dignity and worth of other citizens.