The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a pair of lower court decisions striking down congressional districts on the basis of partisan gerrymandering and ruled that such claims are non-justiciable. The districts drawn by a Democrat-controlled process in Maryland and a Republican-controlled process in North Carolina will stand for the 2020 election, and their respective cases have been remanded with instructions to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.
“Partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts in the majority opinion (PDF). “Federal judges have no license to reallocate political power between the two major parties, with no plausible grant of authority in the Constitution and no legal standards to limit and direct their decisions.”
Roberts wrote that this decision “does not condone excessive partisan gerrymandering, nor does our conclusion condemn complaints about districting to echo into a void.” States “are actively addressing the issue on a number of fronts” and Congress has “the power to do something about partisan gerrymandering.”
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