Supreme Court Tosses Michigan Gerrymandering Ruling in GOP Win

Oct. 21, 2019, 1:34 PM; Updated: Oct. 21, 2019, 2:52 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court threw out a lower court ruling that would have forced Michigan’s congressional and state legislative voting maps to be redrawn to give Republicans less of an advantage.

The one-sentence order issued Monday was expected in light of the high court’s June 27 decision insulating partisan gerrymanders from challenges in federal court. That ruling upheld a Republican-drawn congressional map in North Carolina and Democratic-drawn voting lines in Maryland.

The Supreme Court’s action doesn’t directly affect the independent commission Michigan voters approved last year to draw voting lines for 2022 and beyond. The commission is being challenged in a separate lawsuit.

A three-judge panel had invalidated Michigan’s GOP-drawn maps, saying they were so partisan they violated the Constitution. The groups challenging the Michigan maps, led by the League of Women Voters, conceded to the Supreme Court that the justices’ ruling in June required setting aside the lower court ruling.

The high court previously put the Michigan ruling on hold while the justices deliberated over the North Carolina and Maryland cases.

The new Supreme Court order follows a similar move that sealed a win for Ohio Republicans on their gerrymandered congressional voting map.

The Michigan case is Chatfield v. League of Women Voters, 19-220.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Greg Stohr in Washington at gstohr@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net

Laurie Asséo, Ros Krasny

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

(Describes independent commission in third paragraph)

To read more articles log in.

Learn more about a Bloomberg Law subscription.