The Supreme Court’s last batch of opinions for this term are flooding out, including a 5-3 decision against Texas’ draconian abortion law.
The Court is also deciding which cases to take up for the next term, and it turns out North Carolina’s awful Congressional redistricting back in 2011, which was ruled unconstitutional earlier this year, will be on the docket. A decision against the North Carolina General Assembly could signal a huge blow against gerrymandering. From Politico:
The Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether North Carolina’s 2011 Congressional redistricting plan violated the Constitution by relying too heavily on race in drawing district boundaries.
Orders released Monday — the high court’s last official meeting day of the term — said the justices will take up the redistricting struck down by a lower court in a 2-1 ruling in February of this year.
That same month, the shorthanded, eight-justice Supreme Court refused to step in to relieve the state’s obligation to redraw the boundaries. The denial of the stay was one of the court’s first official actions following the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Five justices are needed to grant such a stay, but only four are needed to add a case to the court’s docket.
Earlier this year, the federal 4th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the old maps and forced the Republicans to redraw them and hold a new primary; the Supreme Court, days after Antonin Scalia’s death, denied the state a stay. The new map looks a lot better, but still preserves the Republican Congressional majority of 10-3, in a swing state that is expected to be one of the most competitive in November.
The Court has had only eight justices since Scalia died, because Senate Republicans refuse to give a hearing for Merrick Garland, President Obama’s pick to replace him. One of North Carolina’s Senators with the power to push Garland’s nomination is Thom Tillis, the former Speaker of the N.C. House who helped champion this redistricting plan.