"The Supreme Court decided its perhaps most, the two most politically charged cases of its term today on the final day of decisions before the court's summer break. In a big case about districts that are drawn, political districts that are drawn for partisan advantage. The Supreme Court dealt a huge blow to efforts to restrain that practice, when it ruled that partisan gerrymandering lawsuits do not belong in federal court."
"There had been lawsuits in roughly a half dozen states in recent years that had sought to rein in the practice known as partisan gerrymandering. And today the court, with five conservative appointed by Republican presidents in the majority and four liberals appointed by Democrats in dissent, said that those cases have no place in federal court. That's a huge blow to efforts to rein in the practice, although it does leave opponents of partisan gerrymandering with the opportunity to go to the courts in some states to try to win court rulings there."
Location Unknown - 23 March 20198
5. STILL of envelope containing 2019 census letter
"The other big case decided today involves the Trump administration's efforts to place a citizenship question on the 2020 census and there, the Chief Justice joined with the four liberals to keep the question on hold at least for now and possibly for good. The court sent the case back to the census, to the Commerce Department but it ruled that the reasoning that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had used to explain why he wanted to add the census, census citizenship question that the reasoning was contrived. That it wasn't a good explanation for why the question was to be added."
"There is some question about whether the administration might have enough time to come up with a better explanation. On the other hand, the Census Bureau and the Justice Department have argued rather strenuously that they must start printing the census forms by July 1st, which is next week, in which case they really wouldn't be any time. But we have yet not, have not yet heard from the White House or the Commerce Department about its plans."
The Supreme Court handed down two big decisions on it's final day before a summer break.
Associated Press Supreme Court report Mark Sherman explains why these two cases were "the most politically charged."
The Supreme Court first decision dealt a huge blow to efforts to combat the drawing of electoral districts for partisan gain in a ruling that could embolden political line-drawing after the 2020 census.
The conservative justices ruled that federal courts have no role to play in the dispute over the practice known as partisan gerrymandering.
The decision has no effect on racial gerrymandering challenges. Courts have barred redistricting aimed at reducing the political representation of racial minorities for a half-century.
The next round of redistricting will take place in 2021, once census results are available.
In another politically charged case decided Thursday, the court blocked for now the Trump administration's effort to add a citizenship question to the next census. It's unclear whether the Trump administration has time to address the court's concerns.
Printing of census forms is supposed to begin next week.
There was no immediate response from the White House on either Supreme Court decision Thursday.
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Wilbur L. Ross Jr.
Supreme Court of the United States, United States government