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in a case that could have sweeping influence on U. S. elections the Supreme Court on Tuesday grappled with the contentious practice of gerrymandering the reshaping of electoral districts to favor one political party over another , of course nine justices heard arguments on the legality of north Carolina's Republican drawn electoral map and a Democrat drawn house district in Maryland challengers ask the top court to set clear limits to gerrymandering for the first time but the justices appear deeply divided on the issue along ideological lines Andrew Chong was in the courtroom for Tuesday's arguments the court's liberal justices seem to more sympathetic toward the voters challenging maps in Maryland and North Carolina then conservative justices given the court's five to four conservative majority it would appear on likely that they will %HESITATION allow federal courts to intervene in partisan gerrymandering cases but if they do it would be a momentous occasion in that it could impact US elections for years to come conservative justices who have a five four majority such as justice Samuel Alito were skeptical about empowering judges to block electoral maps drawn by state legislators while liberal justices such as Steven Briar open to letting the courts intervene the North Carolina case focuses on a twenty sixteen map openly adopted to favor Republicans after court found that an earlier map drawn by GOP legislators had unlawfully used race as a factor more than two dozen democratic voters the state's Democratic Party and two advocacy groups sued claiming partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional during Tuesday's arguments new justice Brett Kavanaugh took an active role questioning whether the Supreme Court needed to intervene when there has been a quote fair amount of activity to remedy the situation in a given state including the adoption of independent redistricting commissions terminate chime entering outside the court former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maryland governor Larry Hogue , led protests and gerrymandering both parties are guilty the Supreme Court ruling is due by the end of June