U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court accepts second case on partisan gerrymandering

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide a second case that claims it is unconstitutional to redraw voting district lines based on partisan considerations.

The case, Benisek v. Lamone, involves a challenge by Maryland Republicans to the redrawing of a congressional district with the alleged intent of putting a Democrat in office, report the Washington Post, SCOTUSblog and the New York Times. The other case already on the docket, Gill v. Whitford, is a challenge by Wisconsin Democrats to an alleged partisan gerrymander in the redrawing of a statewide map.

The new case alleges the redistricting targeted Republicans in Maryland in violation of the First Amendment. The Wisconsin case alleged an equal protection violation.

The Supreme Court has overturned electoral maps because of racial gerrymandering, but it has never struck down a map because of partisan gerrymandering.

In October oral arguments in the Wisconsin case, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy had suggested the electoral map favoring Republicans may have violated the First Amendment associational rights of Democrats.

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