Supreme Court Declares Partisan Gerrymandering Cases Nonjusticiable; Issues Confusing Opinion in Census Case
The Supreme Court issued two opinions with direct implications for redistricting this morning, on the last day of the October 2018 Term. In a consolidated opinion for Rucho v. Common Cause and Lamone v. Benisek, the Court held that "partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts." In Department of Commerce v. New York, the Court remanded the "census" case to the district court for further proceedings consistent with its rather confusing opinion that held both that it would be permissible for the the Department of Commerce to ask a question regarding citizenship on the census and that the Department did not provide an accurate reason for the question's inclusion.Read more
Few things inflame Democrats more than Supreme Court Justices with whom they disagree. On the eve of the last days of the Supreme Court term, and on the eve of the first Democrat Presidential debates, we thought it worth revisiting an issue that is certain to be brought up again by Democrats in their effort to outflank each to the left: court packing. The master of Senate procedure, attorney Marty Gold, has a great new article on the topic that delves into the history of the issue.
Prior to the 2016 election, Democrat candidates traditionally respected the independence of the judiciary. Now, however, with President Trump having nominated Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, liberal legislators are angry and seeking every avenue to undermine Trump in any way possible.Read more
Today, the media was buzzing with stories focusing on the President’s power to nominate judges and how that is going to impact the 2020 election. Democrat Presidential candidates have been talking about a wide variety of issues from Citizens United, Roe v. Wade litmus tests for nominees, to strategies aiming to fill the Supreme Court with liberal Justices. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans keep confirming more judges and cementing President Trump’s legacy.Read more
This morning, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Department of Commerce v. New York concerning whether the plan to include a question on citizenship on the 2020 census violated either the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) or the Constitution's enumeration clause. Solicitor General Noel Francisco represented the United States in defense of adding the question, and three advocates argued on behalf of Democrat-controlled states, liberal organizations, and the U.S. House against including the question.Read more
A litmus test for 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates has become the issue of court packing. As 2016 Republican Presidential candidate and Florida Senator Marco Rubio pointed out in a recent op-ed:
Court packing is quickly becoming a litmus test for 2020 Democratic candidates as this ugly, winner-take-all rhetoric gains prominence in progressive circles.
Our nation may not be on the brink of civil war or dissolution, but we are suffering a crisis of confidence and we cannot withstand further erosion of trust in one another and our institutions. The rhetoric used by some of my Democratic colleagues that suggests our institutions are increasingly unable to resolve modern society’s conflicts is dangerous.Read more
Today, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Rucho v. Common Cause, a partisan gerrymandering claim against North Carolina's congressional map, and Lamone v. Benisek, a First Amendment retaliation partisan gerrymandering claim against one Maryland state legislative district. Both cases were before the Court last term and were sent back to the district courts for further proceedings. As in the past, today the justices continued to search for a justiciably manageable standard for considering partisan gerrymandering claims:Read more