A deeply divided Supreme Court took up a partisan gerrymander case on Tuesday that could change the way state legislators draw district lines and realign modern day politics.
The key vote, Justice Anthony Kennedy, gave little indication which way he'll side during the often lively session that saw a familiar partisan split.
"Partisan gerrymanders have become more common, more severe and more durable in their effects," Paul Smith, a lawyer for the Campaign Legal Center who is representing the challengers, argued in briefs. He said that partisan gerrymanders result in a violation of the "Equal Protection Clause by discriminating against the targeted party's voters" and preventing them from "fair and effective representation."
Part of the problem, he argued, is the fact that modern day technology has allowed better map-drawing that has "wrested power from voters." Using mapping software, census data and voting algorithms, he alleged the Republican map drawers diluted democratic votes by packing them into districts.