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Supreme Court to Hear Gerrymandering Cases

A year ago it sidestepped the issue, but on Friday the Supreme Court said it would try anew to decide whether the drawing of congressional districts can ever become unconstitutionally political.

A definitive ruling on partisan gerrymandering by this summer would surely rank as one of the landmark decisions of the decade. The justices agreed to hear challenges to the same two maps – giving lopsided advantages to Republicans in North Carolina and Democrats in Maryland – that they turned aside last summer.

Since then, of course, the justice whose past writing on gerrymandering had made him the swing vote, Anthony M. Kennedy, has retired and been replaced by Brett Kavanaugh, a clear conservative whose opinions about partisan cartography are not clearly known.

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