The court has never established a standard to resolve extreme partisan gerrymanders, and if it chooses to do so, it could revolutionize the way congressional and state legislative maps are drawn. …
Friday’s case, Rucho v. Common Cause, is brought by voting rights groups and voters who filed a lawsuit arguing that North Carolina’s 2016 congressional district maps drawn by Republican legislators amount to an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander that intentionally diluted the electoral strength of individuals who oppose Republicans.
They also say the maps illegally punished supporters of non-Republican candidates on the basis of their political beliefs in violation of the First Amendment.
In August, a three-judge district court panel issued a 321-page opinion and held that the North Carolina voters had the legal right to bring claims and that the plan violated the Constitution.
The court said that the state General Assembly “deprived Democratic voters of their ‘natural political strength’ by making it difficult for such voters to raise money, attract strong candidates and motivate fellow party members and independent voters to campaign and vote.” …
They pointed to what occurred in North Carolina in the 2016 election and said that Republican candidates won 10 out of 13 seats, even though the statewide vote was nearly tied.
North Carolina state Rep. David Lewis, the co-chair of the Joint Select Committee on Congressional Redistricting, convened a meeting in 2016 and said, “I propose that we draw the maps to give a partisan advantage to 10 Republicans and 3 Democrats.”
“When politicians feel brazen enough to not just admit but to openly declare that they are drawing political lines to rig the elections and punish certain voters, we need the Supreme Court to step in and say enough is enough,” said Kathay Feng, a lawyer representing the challenges from Common Cause.