Supreme Court issues final decisions before breaking for summer

Politics

UNITED STATES (WSYR-TV) — In a highly anticipated decision, on Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled on a pair of high profile cases.

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court decided that federal courts have no role in policing partisan redistricting.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion, saying there is no way to properly test and decide whether district line shave been drawn for partisan reasons and that “voters and elected officials should decide this political dispute, not the courts.”

Justice Kagan wrote the dissent, saying in part, “The practices challenged in these cases imperil our system of government.”

The decision is in response to the challenges against both parties — Republicans in North Carolina and Democrats in Maryland — accused of redrawing districts for partisan gain.

“This is an issue that both Republicans and Democrats are guilty of,” Larry Hogan said. “In both cases, it’s wrong. And it’s one of the biggest problems we have in America.”

Also on Thursday, the Supreme Court issued a more complex ruling over whether adding a question of citizenship to the census would be unconstitutional.

The decision, blocking the addition of the question for now, saying the Commerce Department’s explanation for why this question was necessary was insufficient.

The Trump administration has argued the citizenship question would help enforce the Voting Rights Act, but the census’ own experts have said the question would make the count less accurate.

“Putting this question on the census is going to cause six and a half million people not to respond. They’re just going to vanish from our nation’s population count,” Dale Ho of the ACLU said.

Last month, files from a Republican redistricting consultant said asking about citizenship would help “Republicans and non-Hispanic whites.”

But on Thursday, the Supreme court did not completely rule out adding the question in the future, sending the case back to the lower courts to give the Commerce Secretary an opportunity to further explain.

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