Court rules Pennsylvania can keep congressional district map

Court rules Pennsylvania can keep congressional district map

The justices might be likely to put a hold on the lower court order because they are now considering two other cases on partisan gerrymandering, including one about Wisconsin statehouse districts that is expected to determine whether maps can be challenged at all on the basis that they entrench a benefit to one political party over another. They will likely reach out to the U.S. Supreme Court to interfere by blocking the enforcement of the ruling until they come to a decision on a similar case out of Wisconsin involving partisan gerrymandering. In North Carolina three judges said it did. "No state has suffered more than North Carolina from extreme partisan gerrymandering by Republicans - both after the 2010 census and in 2016, after their first map was ruled an unconstitutional racial gerrymander".

The North Carolina lawmakers who filed the application are Sen. The focus of Wynn's ruling are the state's 13 U.S. House seats, 10 of which are held by Republicans.

At the time the maps were approved, Republican leaders said retaining the party's 10-3 seat advantage in the state's congressional delegation was one of its mapping criteria. "Nor could they. The Republican-controlled North Carolina General Assembly expressly directed the legislators and consultant responsible for drawing the 2016 Plan to rely on "political data" - past election results specifying whether, and to what extent, particular voting districts had favored Republican or Democratic candidates, and therefore were likely to do so in the future - to draw a districting plan that would ensure Republican candidates would prevail in the vast majority of the state's congressional districts".

However, losing in court didn't stop the state's GOP from again targeting Democrats in 2016.

As long as there are five justices on the Supreme Court who believe partisan gerrymandering can be unconstitutional, she said there's no way North Carolina's plans could be considered constitutional. It took other anti-voter steps. Pro-GOP groups also made extensive efforts to purge thousands of legal but inactive voters in blue epicenters.

News of the ruling brought quick applause from Democrats and swift criticism from Republicans. The state Republican Party chair accused him of "waging a personal, partisan war" on them, and tweeted this was a "hostile takeover".

The plaintiffs in the Pennsylvania case plan to appeal in a case that would go straight to the U.S. Supreme Court.


That's rich-accusing a federal appeals court of exactly what the GOP has done this decade. It doesn't take a panel of federal judges to know that's wrong.

The court has not weighed in on partisan gerrymandering in more than a decade, and the justices appeared to be sharply divided during oral arguments in the Wisconsin case. It has yet to issue a ruling in that case.

The Republican lawyers had already asked the three-judge panel to order a delay of its decision by Thursday, but jumped to the Supreme Court on Friday when the judges didn't act that quickly.

Wynn has been on a panel of federal judges that has ruled against the state in other redistricting cases that found districts to be unconstitutional racial gerrymanders and who wrote a critical opinion striking down a 2013 election law overhaul and voter ID law, saying it with near "surgical precision" targeted African-American voters, who often support Democrats. The core issue, he said, is whether elected government is going to represent the citizenry and not a minority party seizing power.

The question is, has the test that those courts used done the job of proving partisan gerrymandering?

The cases could create a standard for determining when states have crossed the line and drawn districts to increase the political power of one party over another.

The judicial branch had to draw the lines in Kansas the last time around. "Gerrymandering, of course, is the quintessential political malfunction".

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