By Greg Stohr, (c) 2017, Bloomberg

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether judges can throw out legislative maps as being so partisan they violate the Constitution, taking up a case that could put a powerful new check on gerrymandering.

The justices agreed to hear arguments on a Wisconsin map that a lower court said was designed to keep Republicans in control of the state legislature even if they didn’t win a majority of the votes.

The Supreme Court has never struck down a legislative map as being too partisan, or told challengers what standard they have to meet to win a lawsuit. The case, which the court will hear in the nine-month term that starts in October, could open the way for a new wave of election litigation.

Critics of gerrymandered districts say they undermine democracy, leaving voters with little influence over who represents them. Republicans are the most frequent beneficiaries, largely because their success around the country in the 2010 elections let them draw many of the current maps.

Even as the court agreed to hear the case, the justices sent a signal they may be skeptical of the challengers’ arguments. Voting 5-4 along ideological lines in a separate order, the justices said …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics

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