Voter Suppression

SCOTUS Allows Ruling Against Gerrymandering to Stand

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Good news -- the Supreme Court has allowed a lower court ruling in favor of redrawing district maps in Virginia to stand.

In a narrow ruling based on procedural grounds, a majority of the Supreme Court stated that Republicans did not have standing to bypass lower federal courts and bring their case to the Supreme Court.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the opinion for a 5-4 court, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Neil Gorsuch. [...]

"One House of its bicameral legislature cannot alone continue the litigation against the will of its partners in the legislative process," Ginsburg wrote.

"If the State had designated the House to represent its interests, and if the House had in fact carried out that mission, we would agree that the House could stand in for the State. Neither precondition, however, is met here."

While this ruling does not necessarily mean similar efforts to redraw district maps in other states will stand, it is undeniably good news at least for today.

With the lower court ruling intact, Virginia's next election will use new district maps that aren't racially gerrymandered. Republicans only hold a two seat majority in both chambers of the state legislature and they'll have to defend those seats without the benefit of a maps they specifically created to benefit themselves.

Voters should decide who will represent them, not the other way around.

  • Draxiar

    Gerrymandering should be illegal. Maps should be drawn by non partisan entities.

    • Badgerite

      This. Many claps and up votes.
      Incumbents should not be allowed to entrench themselves in power to such an extent that they can never be removed with anything other than a landslide caused by catastrophes to the country or a violent revolution.
      That is anathema to what the US Constitution and the American Revolution was all about.

  • muselet

    TPM commenter “sniffit”:

    As an attorney, I have so little faith in the SCOTUS at this point that I expect this to be the “bone” they’re throwing us before basically setting the GOP loose with a gerrymandering bazooka.

    Also: “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the majority’s opinion, where she was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Neil Gorsuch.”


    I am not a lawyer and I don’t play one on TV, but my reaction was much the same (especially the WTF?). It pains me to have to look for partisan shenanigans behind Supreme Court decisions.