Marcia Coyle, the National Law Journal’s chief Washington correspondent, offers insight about the U.S. Supreme Court’s argument Tuesday in the partisan redistricting case Gill v. Whitford. Appearing on the PBS NewsHour program, Coyle picked up on comments from Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justice Anthony Kennedy. The case questions Wisconsin’s 2010 redrawing of electoral maps. Watch the PBS NewsHour video below or read the transcript here.
Justice Kennedy didn’t give the challengers a hard time at all. In fact, he asked no questions of them. But he did give the state of Wisconsin a rather difficult time. And we took away from that that he may think that perhaps it is time for the court to accept one of the standards that’s being offered, especially in a district where it appeared that most of the justices seemed to feel this one may have gone a bit too far.
The chief justice said, look, you know, if we strike down a redistricting map like Wisconsin, and the decision favors the Republicans or it favors the Democrats, and we say the reason we did it is because of a mathematical formula, the average person on the street is going to say—and these are his words—what a bunch of baloney, that we really voted because you had maybe five Democratic or Republican-appointed justices.
What is that going to do to the integrity of the institution of the Supreme Court? It’s going to throw us into the thick of politics.