Political News

The Latest: Supreme Court divided over partisan districting

Posted October 3

— The Latest on the Supreme Court case about partisan redistricting (all times local):

11:10 a.m.

The Supreme Court's liberals and conservatives appear divided about striking down a Wisconsin redistricting plan because it is excessively partisan.

The big question, after an hour-long argument Tuesday, is what does Justice Anthony Kennedy think. The answer could reshape American politics.

Kennedy suggested that courts could be involved in placing limits on extremely partisan electoral maps.

But he did not tip his hand at all about whether the Wisconsin map that favors Republicans crossed a line and violates the Constitution.

There was little doubt about where the rest of the court stood.

The liberal justices appeared to favor the Democratic voters who challenged the Wisconsin plan.

The conservative justices were skeptical about striking down the state's map or even involving courts in the inherently political process of redistricting.

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3:35 a.m.

The Supreme Court is taking up a case about political maps in Wisconsin that could affect elections across the country.

The justices are hearing arguments Tuesday in a dispute between Democratic voters and Wisconsin Republicans who drew maps that have entrenched their control of the legislature in a state that is otherwise closely divided between the parties.

The Democratic challengers are asking the court to declare for the first time that the inherently political process of redistricting can be too partisan.

Republicans contend that courts have no business involving itself in decisions that should be left to the political branches of government.

Courts have struck down districts as racially biased for decades.

Other partisan districting lawsuits are moving through the courts in Maryland and North Carolina.

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