WASHINGTON — In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court has found that partisan gerrymandering cases are a political question, meaning the doors of the court have been closed to litigants.

A federal court recently struck down Ohio’s congressional map in an American Civil Liberties Union challenge, ordering a new map be drawn before the 2020 election. The Supreme Court placed the ACLU ruling on hold as it considered the Rucho v. Common Cause and Benisek v. Lamone partisan gerrymandering cases.

Today’s Supreme Court decision means the case brought by the ACLU, ACLU of Ohio, and law firm Covington and Burling along with all other partisan gerrymandering cases, cannot be heard by courts and it will be up to the voters to make sure their representatives are accountable through legislative initiatives and citizen action.

The following comments are from:

Freda Levenson, legal director for ACLU Ohio: “The court’s decision to allow the practice of gerrymandering to continue, to flourish, and to evade review by the judicial system, leaves it in the hands of those  who will continue to abuse their awesome power whenever they can to defeat the will of the voters. In Ohio, this means that in the 2020 election, the map, rather than the electorate, will once again determine who occupies each of our Congressional seats.”

Alora Thomas-Lundborg, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project: “The bottom line is that voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around.”

Ruling: https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/rucho-et-al-v-common-cause-et-al

Statement: https://www.aclu.org/press-releases/aclu-comment-supreme-court-gerrymandering-ruling

Case details: https://www.aclu.org/cases/ohio-philip-randolph-institute-v-smith