In an unsigned per curiam order, the Court today reversed a decision of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin that, in a dispute about the assignment of the number of so-called minority-majority districts, chose an electoral map drawn by the governor over several other such proposals. Wisconsin Legislature v. Wisconsin Election Commission.

The course selected by the governor resulted in the formulation of seven such districts, each of which had a bare majority of Black voters. The Supreme Court elevated a request for a stay into a petition for certiorari, and held that the Wisconsin court did not consider carefully enough whether the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, which protects minority voting power, required in this case the addition of a seventh assembly district in which Black voters made up a majority. Thus, the Court remanded the case for further fact-finding.

In this alleged gerrymandering case, the Republican-dominated legislature has prevailed in its claim that the Democrats rigged the system by creating a map that unnecessarily maximized the number of Black minority-majority districts.

The decision, though unsigned, was 7-2, with outgoing Justice Breyer in the majority. Justice Sotomayor, joined by Justice Kagan, dissented in what is just the latest chapter in what seems to be a never-ending series of cases involving inter-party challenges to electoral district map making, challenges representative of the country’s deep political divisions.

The ghost of Elbridge Gerry remains afoot.

Back to Commercial Litigation Update Blog

Search This Blog

Blog Editors


Related Services



Jump to Page


Sign up to receive an email notification when new Commercial Litigation Update posts are published:

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.