“The Supreme Court Is Toasting Marshmallows While Democracy Burns”

Tonja Jacobi and Matthew Sag for SCOTUS OA:

Rucho v. Common Cause and Lamone v. Benisek are the last chance the Court has before the 2020 census to do something about partisan gerrymandering. So, with the future of democracy in the balance, how is the court likely to rule?

Our predictive model for Rucho v. Common Cause is not encouragingIt shows a clear partisan split, with all of the Republican-appointed justices strongly leaning towards preserving the Republican gerrymander in North Carolina and all of the Democrat-appointed justices clearly against.

Our model’s predictions for Lamone v. Benisek are a bit confused by the fact that the justices seemed to be running out of steam at the end of the second hour of gerrymander-palooza. An optimist might conclude that the brazen Democratic Party gerrymander in Maryland will make Chief Justice Roberts see that the dangers of inaction for the Court outweigh risks of entering the dreaded “political thicket”, but we are doubtful. As for Justice Kavanaugh, based on some of his questions and comments, there is an outside chance that he will defy partisan expectations, but this is probably just wishful thinking.

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