Courts & the Law, Defending Democracy, News

The opinions: SCOTUS punts two partisan gerrymandering cases

The U.S. Supreme Court passed on its two opportunities this term to weigh in on partisan gerrymandering.

Opinions in two pending cases — Gil v. Whitford and Benisek v. Lamone — were released this morning.

Gil was mostly dismissed for lack of standing and sent back to the lower court “so that the plaintiffs may have an opportunity to prove con­crete and particularized injuries using evidence — unlike the bulk of the evidence presented thus far — that would tend to demonstrate a burden on their individual votes.”

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion about Wisconsin’s challenge to a 2011 state legislative redistricting map drawn by its Republican-controlled legislature. Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined. Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch concurred except for part III, which is the part that remands the case back to the lower court.

Kagan wrote a concurring opinion that Ginsburg, Breyer and Sotomayor joined, and Thomas wrote an opinion concurring in part that Gorsuch joined.

In Benisek, the Justices unanimously affirmed a lower court’s decision not to issue a preliminary injunction in a Maryland case that contended congressional redistricting targeted a Republican in violation of the First Amendment.

You can read both full opinions below. An analysis of the opinions and what they could mean for North Carolina will be available this afternoon at NC Policy Watch.

Gil v. Whitford by NC Policy Watch on Scribd

Benisek v. Lamone by NC Policy Watch on Scribd

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