Election reformers suffer loss in Supreme Court decision
WASHINGTON, D.C. (FOX 9) - On the final day of its term, the U.S. Supreme Court released rulings on two high-profile cases.
From congressional districting to the U.S. Census, the nation’s highest court's decisions could have a lasting impact on the political landscape in America for years.
In a much-anticipated ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5 to 4 vote, decided that state lawmakers, and not federal judges, should address the issue of drawing up congressional districts.
Writing his opinion for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts stated, “We have no legal commission to allocate political power and influence.”
The move upholds partisan gerrymandering, the practice of manipulating the size and shape of electoral districts in order to favor one political party over the other.
Ahead of the 2020 election, the decision is a defeat for election reformers who charge that politicians from both sides of the aisle in two high-profile cases in Maryland and North Carolina were unfair in denying voters the right to fair and equal representation.
In another landmark 5-4 vote, the court blocked the Trump Administration's attempt to add a citizenship question to the upcoming 2020 census, at least for now.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz weighed in saying in a statement, “While I’m disappointed that the Supreme Court did not definitively rule against the citizenship question today, this is a step in the right direction.”
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison added in a separate statement that reads in part, “Every Minnesotan counts, every Minnesotan matters. This means every Minnesotan, no matter their citizenship or immigration status, must be counted.”
After Thursday’s ruling, President Trump asked government lawyers if they can delay the 2020 census. His administration has long argued the citizenship question was necessary in order to enforce the Voting Rights Act.