Rucho v. Common Cause

Summarized by:

  • Court: United States Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: June 27, 2019
  • Case #: 18-422
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: ROBERTS, C. J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which THOMAS, ALITO, G ORSUCH, and KAVANAUGH, JJ., joined. KAGAN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which GINSBURG, BREYER, and SOTOMAYOR, JJ., joined
  • Full Text Opinion

Partisan gerrymandering claims remain political questions for Congress, not the judiciary, to resolve.

Petitioners, voter groups of two States, sued in respective district courts alleging unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering to benefit a specific political party. Both district courts found justiciability in the claims and enjoined the States from continued use of the plans. Petitioners appealed directly to the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve. The Court remanded for reconsideration based on its decision in Gill v. Whitford, 585 U. S. ___ (2018). The district courts again concluded the claims were justiciable under either the Elections clause or First Amendment violations. Petitioners again appealed. The Court found years of consistent stance on the lack of justiciability for political questions that present no case or controversy of law to resolve. Following Gill and the rule in Baker v Carr, 369 U. S. 186, stating “the Judiciary cannot entertain a claim because it presents a nonjusticiable political question”  the Court concluded partisan gerrymandering claims are not questions of law but instead of reform which, per the Framers, is a duty of Congress to resolve. The Court opined that partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts. VACATED AND REMANDED. 

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