by Guy-Uriel Charles, Edward and Ellen Schwarzman Professor of Law and Senior Associate Dean for Faculty & Research, Duke Law School.*
*Charles recently served as a panelist on the Making Census of the Population and Redistricting session at ACS's National Convention.
The wait is over. The Supreme Court has finally decided arguably the most anticipated Supreme Court decision argued this term, Gill v. Whitford, the partisan gerrymandering case arising out of Wisconsin. However, to call the Court’s opinion in Gill a decision is misleading in this context. The Court did not even decide the threshold question raised by the case, which is whether partisan gerrymandering claims are justiciable and did not come close to deciding the merits, the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering claims. It’s hard to believe that we waited this long for this. (And the Court’s decision in the Maryland gerrymandering case, Benisek v. Lamone, affirming the district court’s decision to deny the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction is barely worth mentioning). But as it turns out, the story here is not Justice Roberts who authored the majority opinion but Justice Kagan who penned a concurrence.