A local attorney says the U.S. Supreme Court punted the decision down the road by resolving partisan redistricting cases from Wisconsin and Maryland Monday without ruling on the broader issue of whether electoral maps give an unfair advantage to a political party.
Wisconsin democratic voters started the case following redistricting lines created by Republican legislators in 2011.They felt maximized securing seats for republican lawmakers and wastes the votes of democrats.
Veenstra says the Supreme Court essentially ruled the plaintiffs need to prove how each individual was impacted by the redistricted lines.
This means the claims of the individuals in the case will now be prosecuted. He says the defendants won this ruling, but it can change as the new cases move forward.
"There's already been a finding that there was an intent to do the partisan gerrymandering," Veenstra explained. "The trial court already said essentially the lines were drawn intentionally in order to affect the way these voters' votes counted or didn't count. So i think they have a pretty strong case."
He's not surprised by the court punting a decision down the road.
"They don't like these cases," Veenstra said. "They see these as political problems more than judicial controversies. They may find ultimately it is something they'll have to decide, but they certainly don't enjoy it."
Veenstra went on to say the court could request an immediate change to legislators if the district court feels there's actual harm by them with the upcoming election.
"Whether that means the case will be heard in the next month or three months. The defendants have a right to appeal that ruling. It might be fast tracked on appeal. It's possible it would move a lot quicker than the traditional car accident or contract case," He added.
However, Veenstra says he wouldn't count on it happening. The Fair Elections Project, which brought about the case, says they plan to continue fighting.