NC’s partisan gerrymandering case, Common Cause vs Rucho, saw some movement this week. While any progression towards a solution is good, it is clear that a resolution by SCOTUS for one of the nation’s most important gerrymandering cases is still a long time away. It’s beyond belief that North Carolinians will now go through four election cycles since these maps were originally created in 2011, with multiple courts declaring them unconstitutional.

Much of this will depend on whether SCOTUS proceeds with its current 8 member bench or waits until a 9th Justice is appointed. And we all know which way that decision would most likely swing. Let’s just hope that we can finally have #FairMaps in NC in time for the 2020 election, when a brand new decade of redistricting starts with new census data fresh on the books. With NC’s population growth, we could add 1 to 2 additional Congressional Reps in DC, which could help swing the balance in Congress. We need to be sure to elect leaders in 2018 and 2020 who support an independent redistricting process.

Michael Lee with the Brennan Center for Justice breaks down what has happened so far and what is likely to happen next. (Tweet thread summarized for clarity)


Partisan gerrymandering returns to SCOTUS today (10/01/18) as the North Carolina legislative defendants are due to file their jurisdiction statement asking the Justices to hear the case.

Common Cause, the North Carolina Democratic Party, and a group of North Carolina voters filed a lawsuit, Common Cause v. Rucho, raising partisan gerrymandering allegations over the state’s 2016 remedial legislative maps. (these are the state district maps already ruled unconstitutional due to racial gerrymandering, and the revised maps are now being challenged on a partisan gerrymandering basis.) 1/
The NC legislative defendants are asking SCOTUS to overturn the ruling of a three-judge panel striking down North Carolina’s congressional map as a partisan gerrymander. That ruling here:… 2/
What ordinarily happens next under the Supreme Court rules is that the plaintiffs have 30 days (until Nov 1) file a motion asking SCOTUS to decide the case without oral argument. The plaintiffs could waive the right to file such a motion, but that’s rare. 3/
Assuming that they do file the motion described in the last tweet, the legislative defendants would have 14 days (Nov 15) to respond. After that the papers would be submitted to the Justices for consideration re: whether to hear the case. 4/
The Justices will then consider the case at one of their weekly conferences. (see map in original tweet 5/)
They often consider cases over multiple conferences before announcing that they will take it. That’s where things could get interesting. 6/
Once the justices announce that they will hear argument in a case that sets off a second round of briefing, which takes around 105 days, assuming no extensions. 7/
If the Justices agree in Nov or Dec to hear the case, the second round of briefing would be done in time for the high court to hear the case in March or April. But if they wait until January, the case likely gets argued next term and not this one. 8/
A lot could depend on whether there is a 9th Justice any time in the near future or, if the Kennedy seat remains vacant, whether 4 justices are willing to set the case for argument without a full court. 9/
Likewise, it is possible that the Justices might decide to carry the NC case on their docket (i.e., not decide on hearing it) in order to give other partisan gerrymandering cases in WI, MD, OH & MI a chance to catch up. 10/
At the end of the day, they have the word ‘Supreme’ in their job title, so 🤷🏻‍♂️#fairmaps#ncpol 11/
JUST IN: Here’s 👇the North Carolina legislative defendants’ jurisdiction statement asking SCOTUS to hear their partisan gerrymandering appeal:… 12/

Read the original thread here: