The justices have never thrown out a state's maps because of partisan gerrymandering.
To the Scotusblog lawyers, it seemed "Dimaya has a fair chance of prevailing in the Supreme Court [with] Gorsuch, the possible deciding vote in the case".
The Supreme Court wrestled with those issues on their opening day, October 2. It will consider a lower court's ruling that, if allowed to stand, will require the judiciary to determine whether and when partisanship in drawing electoral districts - something as old as the Constitution - is unconstitutional. Republican state legislators developed a new electoral map in secret and then passed it on a party-line vote.
There are a variety of challenges to the labor movement and labor unions, among them whether public employees who choose not to join a union have a First Amendment right to avoid paying dues supporting collective bargaining.
Kennedy questioned only the lawyers for the state of Wisconsin, rather than the plaintiffs. If the court is going to tighten up standards on immigration law for terms such as "crime of violence", wait until the court gets to "sanctuary city", which is defined nowhere in law or regulation. "I'd never seen anything like that before", one Wisconsin state senator, a Republican, told Emily Bazelon of the Times.
The justices will hand down a decision in the case later in the court's term. But employee advocates say workplaces are different because of a federal labor law that gives employees the right to engage in "concerted activities" - a guarantee some judges have said includes class actions.
"If you look at states like Wisconsin that have a pretty serious problem with gerrymandering, we certainly don't want that kind of thing to happen in Kentucky", Heine adds.
On Tuesday, the Eric Holder-led National Democratic Redistricting Committee, launched in the wake of 2016's election, is expected to file a lawsuit on behalf of residents of Georgia over legislative maps that lawmakers there redrew in 2015 to shore up the Atlanta suburbs for Republican incumbents. In 2014 and 2016, Republicans extended their advantage to 63 and 64 seats, respectively, even though the statewide vote remained almost tied.
Partisan gerrymandering has been a feature of the republic since its founding, and the high court has generally been averse to entertaining such challenges. "In 2014, the Republican Party received 52% of the two-party statewide vote share and won 63 assembly seats".
Democrats have also used the redistricting process to help themselves, but they've had fewer opportunities. Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany only after his Nazi Party had won pluralities in two successive free elections in 1932. Though several justices were so engaged that Chief Justice John Roberts had to step in to stop his colleagues from interrupting one another, no one asked Deputy Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall to explain why the Justice Department switched sides on the issue after President Donald Trump took office, leaving the National Labor Relations Board as the lone government agency to argue (2017 WL 3447770) that mandatory individual arbitration provisions are illegal under the National Labor Relations Act. "And this is why I say that the only one that can fix it is the Supreme Court, and that's why we're here today, at the Supreme Court - to ask them to fix this problem of severe gerrymandering". Luckily other states have created the laws, and the computer software, to draw legislative districts based on nonpartisan factors such as population, county and town borders, and contiguity of land area. Although NLRB now has a Republican majority, its general counsel, Richard Griffin, is a Democratic appointee and is scheduled to argue the case.
If the court declares the Wisconsin map unconstitutional, the justices in years to come will have to decide on a series of highly political disputes, he said. Will that advantage last regardless of how the state swings politically to entrench one-party control?
Kennedy suggested that a "bright-line rule" that sets a hearing after six months could be an "easier" way to resolve the case. We will most likely know in June whether the Court's right flank managed to pull him back into their fold. "What's really behind all of this?"
"What incentive is there for a voter to exercise his vote?" she asked. Partisan gerrymandering had "stack [ed] the legislature" against democracy, so that "the result is pre-ordained".