Partisan Gerrymandering: Supreme Court Provides Guidance on Standing and Maintains Legal Status Quo [July 2, 2018]   [open pdf - 443KB]

"In a redistricting case that some predicted could have resulted in a 'blockbuster' ruling, Gill v. Whitford, the Supreme Court issued a more limited, yet still consequential decision. On June 18, 2018 the Supreme Court ruled that in order to establish standing to sue upon a claim of unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering on the basis of vote dilution, challengers must allege injuries to their interests as voters in individual districts. (Vote dilution arises when district boundaries devalue one citizen's vote as compared to others and is accomplished by 'packing' certain voters into a few districts, so that they win elections by large margins, and 'cracking' certain voters among several districts, so that they fail to achieve a voting majority.) Because the challengers in Gill alleged statewide harm to voters of a particular political party--that is, to voters throughout the state who support the Democratic Party--without establishing proof of injury to specific voters within a particular district, the Supreme Court ruled that they failed to establish standing, and in an atypical move, remanded the case to the district court for reargument. On the same day the Court issued Gill, the Court also decided Benisek v. Lamone, holding that a district court did not abuse its discretion by denying a preliminary injunction to challengers claiming that a Maryland congressional district was an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander."

Report Number:
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10164
Public Domain
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Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
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