High court questions courts’ role in partisan redistricting

Law Journals

The Supreme Court’s conservative majority sounded wary Tuesday of allowing federal judges to determine when electoral maps are too partisan, despite strong evidence that the political parties drew districts to guarantee congressional election outcomes.

The decisions in two cases the justices heard Tuesday, from Maryland and North Carolina, could help shape the makeup of Congress and state legislatures for the next decade in the new districts that will be created following the 2020 census.

In more than two hours of arguments over Republican-drawn congressional districts in North Carolina and a single congressional district drawn to benefit Democrats in Maryland, the justices on the right side of the court asked repeatedly whether unelected judges should police the partisan actions of elected officials.

“Why should we wade into this?” Justice Neil Gorusch asked.

Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh pointed out that voters in some states and state courts in others are imposing limits on how far politicians can go in designing districts that maximize one party’s advantage.

Gorsuch said the court’s 2015 ruling upholding Arizona voters’ decision to take redistricting away from the legislature and create an independent commission shows there are other ways to handle the issue. That case was decided by a 5-4 vote before Gorsuch joined the court, with four conservatives in dissent.

Related listings

  • Ex-Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock to appear in court in Chicago

    Ex-Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock to appear in court in Chicago

    Law Journals 03/07/2019

    Former Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock is scheduled to appear in court for the first time since the U.S. Supreme Court declined to get involved in his corruption case.A federal judge in Chicago set a Wednesday hearing for the 37-year-old, who once was a r...

  • High court upholds texting suicide manslaughter conviction

    High court upholds texting suicide manslaughter conviction

    Law Journals 02/01/2019

    The involuntary manslaughter conviction of a young woman who encouraged her boyfriend through dozens of text messages to kill himself was upheld Wednesday by Massachusetts' highest court.The Supreme Judicial Court agreed with a lower court judge who ...

  • NC high court weighs if tracking sex offenders reasonable

    NC high court weighs if tracking sex offenders reasonable

    Law Journals 11/10/2018

    North Carolina's Supreme Court is re-evaluating whether forcing sex offenders to be perpetually tracked by GPS-linked devices, sometimes for the rest of their lives, is justified or a Constitution-violating unreasonable search.The state's highest cou...

New York Commercial Litigation Law Firm - Woods Lonergan PLLC

Founded in 1993 by Managing Partner James F. Woods, Woods Lonergan PLLC has built a strong reputation as a resourceful and industrious firm that provides clients with clear, concise, and straightforward answers to their most challenging legal issues. Partner Lawrence R. Lonergan, who joined the firm in 2008, has been a friend and colleague to Mr. Woods for over 40 years and shares the same business philosophy. Woods Lonergan PLLC’s collective experience and expertise enables the firm to expeditiously and effectively analyze the increasing challenges clients face in an evolving business and legal world, in many instances, avoiding unnecessary time and expense to our clients. Our mission is simple: provide cutting-edge expertise and sound advice in select areas of the law for corporate and business clients. We thrive on providing each client with personalized attention, forceful representation, and a collaborative team effort that embraces collective knowledge.