11:22, June 18 63 0 abajournal.com

2018-06-18 11:22:07
Supreme Court doesn’t reach the merits in 2 partisan gerrymandering cases

Developing: The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday returned two cases to the lower courts that had contended it is unconstitutional to redraw voting district lines to give an advantage to a political party.

In Gill v. Whitford, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the plaintiffs had failed to prove standing, and remanded to give the plaintiffs a chance to show an injury supporting their standing claim, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

In Benisek v. Lamone, the Supreme Court upheld the denial of a preliminary injunction in a Maryland case that contended congressional redistricting targeted a Republican in violation of the First Amendment. SCOTUSblog has early coverage of the per curiam opinion.

“Even if we assume—contrary to the findings of the District Court—that plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of their claims, the balance of equities and the public interest tilted against their request for a preliminary injunction,” the court said.

The American Civil Liberties Union had filed briefs supporting the challenges to partisan gerrymandering. Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, noted that the suits will continue.

“The Supreme Court missed an opportunity today to lay down a firm marker as to when partisan gerrymandering is so extreme that it violates the constitutional rights of voters,” he said in a statement. “But the court permitted lawsuits against unfair maps to continue. Cases around the country—including our challenge to Ohio’s gerrymandered congressional map—will remain ongoing to ensure that voters’ voices are heard.”