The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that challengers to Wisconsin voting maps lacked sufficient standing in the partisan gerrymandering case, Gill v. Whitford
Justice Roberts, writing the majority decision, found that future claims must arise from specific, individual districts rather than from unfairness of the redistricting plan as a whole. Roberts remanded the case back to the district court to see if standing could be established. No justices dissented in the 22-page opinion. Kagan, Ginsberg, Breyer, and Sotomayor concurred.
A second case, Benisek v. Lamone, challenging partisan gerrymandering in Maryland, also received no resolution on the merits, with the Court finding the timing of plaintiffs complaints at issue in a brief five-page opinion.
Democracy North Carolina’s Tomas Lopez responded that he was “disappointed” in the Court’s decision to delay a ruling on what constitutes partisan gerrymandering in the Wisconsin case, which has major implications for North Carolina’s own voting maps.
“While we are disappointed that the Supreme Court avoided establishing a standard against partisan gerrymandering today, its decisions underscore the continued need for reform,” said Tomas Lopez, Executive Director of Democracy North Carolina. “North Carolina’s voting districts are some of the most distorted in the nation, and for too long politicians have used their partisan gamesmanship as a defense. We hope that the Court will ultimately adopt a standard that takes away that defense, and that our state reforms the redistricting process by taking it out of politicians’ hands and into those of their constituents.”