Wed, Oct 04, 2017 - Page 7 News List

US Supreme Court to hear partisan redistricting case

AP, WASHINGTON

The US Supreme Court is taking up a case about political maps in Wisconsin that could affect elections across the nation.

The justices yesterday were due to hear arguments in a dispute between Democratic voters and Wisconsin Republicans who drew maps that have entrenched their control of the legislature in a state that is otherwise closely divided between the parties.

The Democratic challengers are asking the court to declare for the first time that the inherently political process of redistricting can be too partisan.

Republicans contend that courts have no business in decisions that should be left to the political branches of government.

Courts have struck down districts as racially biased for decades, and other partisan districting lawsuits are moving through the courts in Maryland and North Carolina.

The outcome in the Wisconsin case probably rests with Justice Anthony Kennedy. He wrote in 2004 that he had yet to be shown a good way to measure and manage excessively partisan districts.

“If workable standards do emerge to measure these burdens, however, courts should be prepared to order relief,” Kennedy wrote in a redistricting case in Pennsylvania.

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