>> The US Supreme Court on Monday handed a partial victory to Republicans in Wisconsin. Allowing changes they made to the state's electoral maps to remain in place. But the court sidestepped the broader issue of whether states should be able to divvy up voting districts for political gain, in the practice known as gerrymandering.
In the Wisconsin case, the court said Republicans were within their rights to carve electoral boundaries in ways that had helped their party stay in power. The justices rejected a lower court's ruling that said the new districts deprived Democratic voters of their Constitutional rights. But they did so on narrow grounds, saying only that the plaintiffs had failed to prove they had a right to make their case on behalf of statewide voters.
In a separate gerrymandering case in Maryland, the Supreme Court decided not to block a congressional district that was redrawn by Democrats. But it allowed a Republican challenge to move ahead.>> It is up to us.>> The two rulings leave the larger legal issue of gerrymandering up in the air for now.
But the justices could soon take up another case in North Carolina, giving them a chance to issue a broader ruling on the limits of slicing and dicing electoral maps. In January, Pennsylvania's top court threw out that state's congressional map, ruling Republicans had unlawfully manipulated district boundaries to marginalize Democrats.