BREAKING NEWS: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused a request by Common Cause and allied groups to accelerate its consideration of Common Cause v. Rucho, a major challenge to the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering.
A three-judge federal court in North Carolina ruled in January that the Republican-controlled state legislature violated the First Amendment rights of state voters by drawing congressional districts rigged to guarantee the election of GOP candidates.
The high court heard arguments on two other major redistricting challenges, Gill v. Whitford, and Benisek v. Lamone, earlier in its current term; decisions are expected this spring.
Common Cause v. Rucho remains on the court’s docket, but today’s decision increases the chances that the congressional district boundaries found wanting by the three-judge court will be used in the November election.
Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn released this statement on today’s ruling:
“Today’s decision is justice delayed but we are confident that justice will not be denied to the hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians who were essentially disenfranchised by this gross partisan distortion of the state’s congressional maps. Voters in North Carolina won a major victory in the lower courts and it must be emphasized that the Supreme Court has not made any move to overturn that ruling. We are hopeful that the Court, recognizing the potential repercussions, will still hear this case during this year so that the citizens of North Carolina will not be forced to vote in yet another election cycle under unconstitutionally gerrymandered maps.”
Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause North Carolina, had this reaction:
“We are confident that the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately agree with the federal district court’s clear rebuke of partisan gerrymandering and uphold our landmark victory in the fight for fair voting maps.”
Issues: Voting and Elections