So predicts key Court watcher John Elwood:
My instinct is Court won't act before 1/4 conference. I suspect they'll reschedule until late January, so argument would come next fall. I doubt John Roberts wants to revisit an issue that flummoxed Court last time & have only April to June to decide. Better to have all of OT19.
— John Elwood (@johnpelwood) December 12, 2018
Such punting could leave North Carolina’s gerrymandered districts in place for the 2020 elections, perhaps mooting the entire controversy as we enter the new redistricting cycle.
UPDATE. Here’s Bob Barnes with an alternative theory:
The Maryland case is expedited and will also be on the 1/4 conference, according to the lawyers. Might the justices have rescheduled NC so that they consider them together?
— Robert Barnes (@scotusreporter) December 12, 2018