Lyle Denniston on SCOTUS Decision Not to Rush Maryland Partisan Gerrymandering Case


The Maryland case has some of its own vulnerabilities, and those might have played some role in the Supreme Court’s decision to sidetrack it for the time being.  The Benisek case has yet to go to a trial, reaching the court only on an appeal of the issue of whether the congressional map should have been blocked temporarily pending the trial.

Maryland state officials, in opposing early Supreme Court consideration of that case, also argued that the voters contesting the Sixth District had not shown any sense of urgency in the lower court – a claim protested by the challengers’ lawyers.

Even so, the main things working against prompt review of the Maryland case probably were that the Wisconsin case had already been accepted, that it was close to ready for hearing, and a hearing was actually set, well ahead of the arrival on the Justices’ docket of the Maryland case.

It now appears that it will be the fate of the Benisek case to simply sit idly on the court’s docket, awaiting the outcome on the Wisconsin dispute, and then either gets accepted for review or is returned to the lower court to apply the Wisconsin decision – if there is such a decision providing new guidance on partisan gerrymandering.

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