SCOTUS dismisses Republican appeal over congressional districts in VA; similar case in WI

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WASHINGTON  — A unanimous Supreme Court has dismissed a Republican appeal over congressional districts in Virginia.

The justices on Monday, May 23rd left in place a decision by a lower court that said Virginia illegally packed black voters into one district to make adjacent districts safer for Republican incumbents.

Republican members of Congress wanted the court to reinstate the districting map. But the justices ruled that the elected officials did not have the right to challenge the court ruling.

The same three-judge court that threw out the map drawn by the state Legislature in 2012 has since created new districts that are in place for the 2016 congressional elections.

Here in Wisconsin, a federal judge is set to hear evidence this week in a trial to decide whether legislative district boundaries that Republicans drew in 2012 are constitutional.

Twelve voters who support Democrats filed a lawsuit last summer alleging the state Assembly district boundaries are unfairly designed to help GOP candidates hold legislative seats. They argue the maps dilute voting power based on political beliefs.

State attorneys have countered that partisanship is a lawful motive for redrawing the boundaries and the boundaries are in line with past redistricting plans.

The trial is set to begin Tuesday in front of Judge Barbara Crabb. The proceeding is expected to last three days, and Crabb will likely issue a ruling weeks or months later.