Commentary: Here is the latest from my source on the Gerrymandering Case.
I believe this case is more significant than Wisconsin for two reasons. First, unlike in Wisconsin, the three-judge panel in Maryland held that the districts were not an unconstitutional gerrymander. The Supreme Court didn’t have to intervene here because the Maryland District Court essentially preserved the status quo. The fact that the Supreme Court did intervene in Maryland is a strong indication that they’re willing to consider constitutional gerrymandering claims. Wisconsin’s three-judge panel did the opposite and ruled, for the first time ever, that a state legislature had engaged in an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. The U.S. Supreme Court essentially had to intervene there. Second, the issue in Maryland is far narrower than the issue in Wisconsin. Maryland is a district specific challenge, whereas Wisconsin is a statewide challenge. Wisconsin’s theory would’ve mandated a proportional representation scheme in the Constitution where there is none. This would’ve potentially held perfectly compact, non-gerrymandered districts as unconstitutional “partisan gerrymanders” simply because there are more Republicans or Democrats statewide than there are elected representatives. This “proportional representation” scheme is simply nowhere in the Constitution and is why Judicial Watch submitted an amicus brief in support of the State of Wisconsin. In contrast, Maryland is a challenge to the Sixth District only and had evidence that the state targeted individual voters based on their voting history in the Sixth District in violation of the First Amendment and intentionally placed them in a different district in the last redistricting cycle. In my view, this is a much better theory.
What does this all mean? Who knows. The Supreme Court can sometimes be very unpredictable. The Court heard argument in the Wisconsin case back in October and will issue a ruling sometime between April and June. I’ll keep you posted.