RealClearPolitics | Esenberg: Why the Supreme Court Punted in Redistricting Case

Rick Esenberg writing at RealClearPolitics on why the U.S. Supreme Court punted on Wisconsin’s redistricting case, Gill v. Whitford:

In the eagerly awaited redistricting case, Gill v. Whitford, the United States Supreme Court vacated a lower court ruling directing the Wisconsin legislature to redraw Assembly district maps that were alleged to have been gerrymandered to favor Republicans. The court did not accept the plaintiffs’ claim, finding that they seemed to lack standing (i.e. they had not demonstrated the particularized individual injury that is required to bring litigation in a federal court).  The court did not dismiss the case but remanded it to give the plaintiffs an opportunity to show that they have suffered such an individualized harm, i.e., that their own districts were drawn in a way that diluted their vote. 

Perhaps more importantly the court did not attempt to create a new, arbitrary standard or doctrine that could be used to dictate how states draw maps. Such a decision would have disenfranchised voters in every state and dealt a serious blow to states’ rights. Fortunately, the court did not go that route.   

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