Home / worldwide News / A Flurry of Courts Have Ruled on Election Maps. Here’s What They’ve Said.

A Flurry of Courts Have Ruled on Election Maps. Here’s What They’ve Said.

What’s next?

The Supreme Court is expected to rule in the spring, probably setting the course for the other cases in federal court as well.

North Carolina: Congressional districts

How many seats does each party hold?

In 2016, Republican candidates received 53 percent of the votes cast, and won 10 of the state’s 13 seats; Democrats received 47 percent of the votes and won 3 seats.

What’s happened so far?

The map was thrown out and ordered redrawn by a panel of three federal judges on Jan. 9, who said that Republicans had drawn it most recently in 2016 in an attempt to gain a political advantage. The

Supreme Court temporarily blocked the lower court’s order to redraw the map nine days later.

What’s next?

It’s unclear. The Supreme Court has not said whether it will schedule arguments in the case, known as Rucho v. Common Cause. The court may choose instead to let whatever ruling it issues in another gerrymandering case stand as its final word on the matter. Because of the temporary block, experts say the current North Carolina map will probably remain in effect for the midterm elections this fall.

2018 Election Calendar and Results

A full list of elections for the House and Senate, including which races matter most for congressional control.


Pennsylvania: Congressional districts

How many seats does each party hold?

Republican candidates received 54 percent of the vote in 2016, and won 13 of the state’s 18 seats. Democratic candidates received 46 percent of the votes and won five seats.

What’s happened so far?

The State Supreme Court ruled on Jan. 22 that the map “clearly, plainly and palpably” violated the State Constitution and ordered the map redrawn. The Republicans who control the state legislature asked the United States Supreme Court to block the state court’s order, but were turned down.

The Republican leaders then drew a new map with less convoluted district lines than before, but Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor, Tom Wolf, refused to approve it, saying it was just as severely gerrymandered for partisan advantage as the old map was.

Under the state court’s order, a neutral outside expert, Nathaniel Persily of Stanford University, is to draft and submit a new map that satisfies the court’s criteria by Thursday, Feb. 15; the court said it intended to certify a map by Monday, Feb. 19.

As the map is redrawn, there are potential political and legal consequences worth watching.

What’s next?

Republicans have said they are considering other moves in federal court to delay or alter the State Supreme Court order, but experts say the odds of success are slim. The state court has rejected Republican efforts to disqualify two of its judges on ethics grounds.

As matters now stand, the May 15 primary and Nov. 6 midterm general election for House seats will be held using a new map. But the old one will still be in effect for a special election on March 13 to fill one vacant House seat.

Maryland: 6th Congressional District

How many seats does each party hold?

Statewide, Democrats hold seven of the state’s eight House seats, including the 6th Congressional District, while Republicans hold one.

What’s happened so far?

The boundaries of the district have been the subject of legal challenges since they were drawn in 2011. In the current case, known as Benisek v. Lamone, Republicans were denied a preliminary injunction by a three-judge federal panel, and appealed that denial to the Supreme Court, which unexpectedly took the case.

The plaintiffs argue that Democratic state lawmakers drew the map to place the Republican who had held the seat for 10 terms, Roscoe G. Bartlett, at a political disadvantage, violating the voters’ First Amendment rights. Mr. Bartlett was defeated in 2o12.

What’s next?

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in the case in late March. The map remains in effect for the time being.

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