ICYMI: SCOTUS back in the gerrymandering headlines

Don Henry| November 16th, 2018

The nation’s highest court has once again been asked to intervene in gerrymandering cases, this time in Maryland and Virginia.

Maryland’s long-running dispute is a mirror image of Pennsylvania's.  There, a Democratic gerrymander is causing partisan rancor in the state capitol.

 Democratic Attorney General Brian Frosh on Nov. 15 bucked the state’s newly re-elected Republican governor and appealed a lower federal court’s order to redraw the state’s congressional map.

Frosh has asked for a quick hearing on the three-judge panel’s decision, which found that Democratic mapmakers had violated the First Amendment rights of Republican voters.

The Supremes last looked at the case in June, when they sidestepped the question of just how much partisan gerrymandering is required to make  a map unconstitutional.

Gov. Larry Hogan supports a constitutional amendment that would form an independent commission to redraw boundaries.  Though a spokesperson, he condemned Frosh's appeal.

SCOTUS also agreed Nov. 13 to hear a Virginia challenge in which Republican lawmakers  have objected to a lower court’s ruling that 11 House of Delegates districts must be redrawn to correct racial gerrymandering.

According to the Washington Post, the appeal does not halt the current redistricting process, which is being handled by a “special master” appointed by a three-judge panel in federal court.