The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in the partisan gerrymandering case Gill v. Whitford. Several of the justices appeared to be amenable to some kind of test to determine whether a map is too partisan in its bias, but there was no consensus on what such a test might look like (although Justice Breyer offered a possibility). Arguments touched briefly on standing but mostly revolved around how the Court could test whether the Wisconsin Assembly acted unconstitutionally when it intentionally drew districts that would maximize Republican seats.

A key exchange involved adjustments made to the Wisconsin maps during the redistricting process that resulted in ever greater Republican advantages.

“If it’s the most extreme map they could make, why isn’t that enough to prove partisan asymmetry and unconstitutional gerrymandering?” asked Justice Sotomayor after describing several iterations of the Wisconsin legislative maps that were rejected because they “weren’t partisan enough.”

Subscribers can read the rest of this report.