The Supreme Court of the United States announced this morning that they will decide whether the drawing of electoral districts can be too political and whether judges can throw out legislative maps as being so partisan that they violate the Constitution.
The justices agreed to hear arguments over a case involving Wisconsin’s Republican-drawn boundaries for the state legislature which in 2012 allowed Republicans to capture 61 percent of state assembly seats while winning only 48.6 percent of the statewide vote.
Critics of gerrymandered districts say they undermine democracy and leave voters with little influence over who represents them. Many election law experts contend that this case is the best opportunity yet for the high court to put limits on what lawmakers may do to gain a partisan advantage in creating political district maps.
A divided panel of three federal judges last year ruled last year that the state’s Republican leadership in 2011 pushed through a plan so partisan that it violated the Constitution’s First Amendment and equal rights protections.