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Michael Li @mcpli
, 14 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
This week will be a momentous one on the redistricting front - with action in legal challenges to two of the worst congressional maps of the decade: Pennsylvania & North Carolina. #fairmaps 1/
In PA, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on 1/17 in a challenge seeking to have the state's congressional map invalidated as a partisan gerrymander under state law. #fairmaps 2/…
Although several other ongoing cases in federal court challenging various maps under federal law, the Pennsylvania case is the first major case to raise a challenge under state constitutional law - which makes it worth watching for several reasons. #fairmaps 3/
The first is that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has the last word - if it rules that the map is unconstitutional, it will be redrawn (assuming the court rules in an expeditious fashion as all indications are that it will). #fairmaps 4/
That could have major implications for the 2018 elections and the battle for control of the U.S House. But the case also is important because it is a challenge under state rather than federal law. #fairmaps 5/
If it is successful, it will point to a possible path for challenging partisan gerrymanders that isn't dependent on SCOTUS - and where, depending on the state, rights actually might be broader than anything SCOTUS is willing to do. #fairmaps 6/
Side note: Although the Pennsylvania case is at the PA Supreme Court, it isn't an appeal. Rather the court is hearing the case in its so-called extraordinary jurisdiction - which means basically de novo review of the Commonwealth Court's recommendations. #fairmaps 7/
Meanwhile, in North Carolina, a three-judge panel last week issued a powerful, and in many ways landmark, opinion striking down that state's 2016 congressional plan. ICYMI, opinion here:… #fairmaps 8/
The 2016 North Carolina congressional map struck down is the state's second of the decade. The first - drawn in 2011 - was struck down as a racial gerrymander and ordered redrawn. #fairmaps 9/
The NC lege came back and said, fine, we'll just replace that racially gerrymandered map with a partisan gerrymander. No, really, that's literally what they said. #fairmaps 10/
With last week's ruling, the three-judge panel ordered the second map redrawn to undo partisan gerrymandering. But, not surprisingly, GOP lawmakers have asked for a stay from SCOTUS, which has asked for a response by noon on 1/17. #fairmaps 11/
A decision on whether to grant a stay could come any time after that - and almost certainly by the end of the week. #fairmaps 12/
If the court denies the stay, North Carolina will get a new congressional map for 2018 - which combined with the possibility of new congressional map in Pennsylvania - will be *huuuge* politically (to borrow a phrase). #fairmaps 13/
And although ordinarily you would think SCOTUS would grant a stay, the facts of North Carolina are so egregious & blatant - and more importantly seem to fall squarely into a hypo asked by Justice Kennedy that, well, this one will be interesting to watch. #fairmaps 14/
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