Are Congressional Action, Voter-Established Redistricting Commissions, or State Courts Good Substitutes or Supplement for Federal Court Review of Partisan Gerrymanders?

At the recent oral argument in the partisan gerrymandering cases, both Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh raised the question whether partisan gerrymandering is a problem that could solve itself without federal court intervention. One possibility is through congressional action establishing state redistricting commissions for congressional elections. (This would only apply to congressional gerrymandering and not for state or local elections, and as Mark Joseph Stern pointed out, a requirement of states to establish commissions may be unconstitutional.) Another possibility raised by Gorsuch is independent commissions established by voter initiatives in states that have it. That’s less than half the states, and that too may be unconstitutional, as I explained at The Atlantic.

Well what about state courts, such as North Carolina’s state Supreme Court, which recently flipped into Democratic hands? Ben Williams suggests they could be the answer, but the issue is complicated.

On the state court question, see this recent discussion on Twitter (click on the link and follow the thread for responses).

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