Bloomberg Law: Redistricting Cases Won’t Dictate Outcome of Midterms

Kimberly Robinson
Jan 31, 2018
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Groups wanting to flip control of the U.S. House of Representatives—or keep it in Republican hands—largely won’t benefit immediately from redistricting court decisions ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, election law scholars told Bloomberg Law. Partisan gerrymandering challenges—that is, challenges over how much a state can consider politics in drawing districts—have had historic success recently. Still, it will take several months or longer to sort out the flurry of cases moving through the courts, including the Supreme Court, and even longer to implement any changes.

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Ruth Greenwood, of the Campaign Legal Center in Washington, said political parties have brought dozens of partisan gerrymandering claims since the Supreme Court first recognized that partisan considerations in redistricting could violate the Constitution in 1986 in Davis v. Bandemer. But it’s only recently that partisan gerrymandering claims have been successful, with the 2016 Wisconsin ruling opening the floodgates for similar claims, Greenwood said. The Campaign Legal Center is counsel to several groups challenging state voting districts, including the Wisconsin case.

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