WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Supreme Court arguments over whether the political task of redistricting can be overtly partisan (all times local):
The Supreme Court's conservative majority sounded wary of allowing federal judges to determine when electoral maps are too partisan. That's in spite of strong evidence that the political parties drew districts to guarantee congressional election outcomes.
The decisions in two cases the justices heard Tuesday, from Maryland and North Carolina, could help shape the makeup of Congress and state legislatures for the next decade in the new districts that will be created following the 2020 census.
More than two hours of arguments focused on Republican-drawn congressional districts in North Carolina and a single congressional district drawn to benefit Democrats in Maryland.
The justices on the right side of the court asked repeatedly whether unelected judges should police the partisan actions of elected officials.
Justice Neil Gorusch asked, "Why should we wade into this?"
The Supreme Court seems wary of getting federal judges involved in determining when electoral district maps are too partisan.
The high court on Tuesday heard more than two hours of arguments in two cases involving the issue. The first case involves North Carolina's heavily Republican congressional map, and the second involves a map drawn by Democrats in Maryland.
In deciding the two cases the high court could come out with the first limits on partisan politics in the drawing of electoral districts. It also could ultimately decide that federal judges have no role in trying to police political mapmaking.
Democrats and Republicans eagerly await the outcome of the cases because a new round of redistricting will follow the 2020 census. The decision could help shape the makeup of Congress and state legislatures over the next decade.
The Supreme Court is returning to arguments over whether the political task of redistricting can be overly partisan.
The cases at the high court Tuesday mark the second time in consecutive terms the justices will see if they can set limits on drawing districts for partisan gain. Or the court could rule that federal judges should not referee disputes over districts designed to benefit one political party.
Democrats and Republicans eagerly await the outcome of cases from Maryland and North Carolina because a new round of redistricting will follow the 2020 census, and the decision could help shape the makeup of Congress and state legislatures over the next decade.
Last year, the court essentially punted on cases from Wisconsin and the same Maryland congressional district that's up for consideration Tuesday.