Supreme Court Favors Republicans in Gerrymandering Cases

(From Reuters)

The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Republicans in Texas and North Carolina on Monday in two more cases on the contentious issue of politicians manipulating electoral district boundaries for political gain, known as gerrymandering.

The justices upheld a batch of Republican-drawn legislative districts in Texas, including two in the U.S. House of Representatives, that had been thrown out by a lower court for diluting the power of black and Hispanic voters. The ruling was 5-4, with the conservative justices in the majority and the liberals dissenting.

Separately, the justices threw out a lower court ruling that had struck down North Carolina’s Republican-drawn U.S. House districts, directing that the decision be revisited in light of its ruling in a Wisconsin gerrymandering case last week that also preserved a Republican-drawn electoral map.

The North Carolina dispute differed from the Texas case decided on Monday in that it focused on the redrawing of electoral maps by state legislators to give one party a lopsided advantage, in this case the Republicans, rather than for racial discrimination.

The decisions will not affect the maps used for this year’s elections. Democrats have accused Republicans of escalating partisan gerrymandering this decade, helping President Donald Trump’s party maintain control of the U.S. House of Representatives and many state legislatures.

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