I have written this blog post over at the Harvard Law Review blog. It begins:
After waiting, and waiting, and waiting, the United States Supreme Court finally answered the question whether it would heed Pennsylvania Republicans’ calls to put on hold the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s order redrawing the state’s congressional district lines to cure a partisan gerrymander. The answer was no, with no explanation. And in that silence the Court dodged a question it has refused to wade into since the disputed 2000 presidential election culminating in the Court’s controversial Bush v. Gore case.
This reticence inured to the benefit of Democrats and opponents of partisan gerrymandering in the Pennsylvania case. But in the longer run the issue is far from over. Chief Justice Roberts was pretty adamant in the Arizona State Legislature dissent, and if there is a retirement of Justice Kennedy or one of the Court’s liberals in the near future, it would not be a surprise to see this issue come back. And the kinds of arguments long made by Justice Scalia about how to read the Constitution could gain a new, more conservative Court majority’s favor.