Many are asking what’s taking the U.S. Supreme Court so long to act on Pennsylvania’s gerrymander case. But another key question is, what happens once the Supreme Court acts? Tuesday is the deadline to file petitions to run for Congress.So, expectations are that court action is imminent. But even after the Supreme Court acts in what is a tale of high-stakes politics and political revenge, ramifications are expected for some time. “All we know is this isn’t over. What we don’t know is how long it lasts.” So says Michael Gerhardt, constitutional scholar at the National Constitution Center. He adds, “Everybody’s waiting for movement. And nobody’s moving.” You know the basics, right?
Republican legislature draws congressional districts in 2011 favorable to Republicans. Democratic state Supreme Court in 2018 rules maps unconstitutionally partisan, draws new maps favorable to Democrats. Everybody goes bat-swat crazy.
Challenges erupt. There are cries of constitutional crises and legal fees mounting to millions of tax dollars. Pleas to the nation’s highest court. Talk of impeaching state Supreme Court justices. And, now, many questions.
The most immediate? Will the U.S. Supreme Court grant an emergency stay against new maps on grounds that the U.S. Constitution says legislatures, not courts, hold map-drawing authority?