Byline: Derek Hawkins
United States Supreme Court
Case Name: Robert A. Rucho, et al. v. O. John Benisek, et al.
Case No.: 18-422; 18-726
Focus: Abuse of Discretion - Partisan Gerrymandering
Voters and other plaintiffs in North Carolina and Maryland filed suits challenging their States' congressional districting maps as unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders. The North Carolina plaintiffs claimed that the State's districting plan discriminated against Democrats, while the Maryland plaintiffs claimed that their State's plan discriminated against Republicans. The plaintiffs alleged violations of the First Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Elections Clause, and Article I, 2. The District Courts in both cases ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and the defendants appealed directly to this Court.
These cases require us to consider once again whether claims of excessive partisanship in districting are "justiciable"that is, properly suited for resolution by the federal courts. This Court has not previously struck down a districting plan as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander, and has struggled without...