The Supreme Court has announced it will hear a landmark gerrymandering case when its new session opens in October, a case that may change how Congressional district lines are drawn in the future.
The case originated in Wisconsin, where a divided panel of three federal judges ruled the state’s Republican leadership passed an electoral map in 2011 so biased it violated the First Amendment and equal rights protections.
While regularly called upon to determine whether or not state electoral lines were drawn to unfairly dilute the influence of minority voters, the Supreme Court has never declared a state electoral map unconstitutional specifically due to partisan gerrymandering.
“Although a majority of the court has suggested that states can violate the Constitution if they draw legislative districts primarily to benefit one political party, the justices have never been able to identify the specific point at which states cross the constitutional line,” said Steve Vladeck, CNN’s Supreme Court analyst and a professor of law at the University of Texas.
“In this case, a lower court held that Wisconsin had indeed crossed that line.”
While challengers to the Wisconsin redistricting plan suggested the state’s Republican leadership packed minorities into a limited number of districts to dilute their influence, Republicans suggested the state’s geography favors Republicans in state races.
As is the case across the United States, voters who tend to vote Democratic are overwhelmingly clustered in the state’s major urban areas, while Republican voters are heavily concentrated in suburban and rural areas.
The case is set to be argued before the Supreme Court when it begins its new term in October.
Former President Barack Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder have pledged to challenge Republican-led redistricting efforts across the United States in an effort to reclaim a Democratic majority in Congress, with Holder currently chairing the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC).
Globalist billionaire George Soros and other far-left mega donors have also invested millions in an effort to challenge Republican-drawn district lines.
The Supreme Court last took up gerrymandering in the 2004 Pennsylvania redistricting case Vieth v. Jubelirer, which left the justices unable to determine when exactly gerrymandering to benefit one political party crossed the line into a unconstitutional dilution of another’s vote.
Four justices, of which Justice Clarence Thomas is the last currently on the court, determined it was not the business of the Supreme Court to decide such issues, while four others – of which only Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer remain – suggested such challenges could be heard, but disagreed on the method.
Justice Anthony Kennedy joined the four conservative justices in ruling against the challengers of the Pennsylvania redistricting plan, but left the door open for future cases.
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