Just recently, the ACLU of Ohio won a big victory when a federal Appeals Court ruled that Ohio’s congressional districts were blatantly gerrymandered and should be redrawn by June this year for the 2020 elections. Courts in Michigan had ordered similar redrawing. Both rulings were appealed by Republicans and on Friday, there was a setback when the US Supreme Court blocked both those orders without any reasoning.
The decisions in Michigan and Ohio that were put on hold by the justices were the latest rulings by federal courts determining that electoral maps designed by a state’s majority party unconstitutionally undermined the rights of voters who tend to support the other party.
But the action by the justices was not unexpected as they weigh two other gerrymandering cases – one from North Carolina and the other from Maryland – that could decide definitively whether federal judges have the power to intervene to curb partisan gerrymandering. The rulings in those cases, due by the end of June, are likely to dictate whether the legal challenges against the Ohio and Michigan electoral maps can move forward.
So the fate of these two cases now rests on the outcome of the other two cases, unless the decision is made to consolidate all four cases.