The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to vacate lower court rulings in North Carolina and Maryland, restoring congressional district lines many said had been gerrymandered for partisan advantage by Republicans and Democrats in both states.
The majority opinion says that federal courts must stay out of political disputes over whether or not state legislatures go too far in manipulating district lines.
Previous rulings enabled nonpartisan commissions and, in some cases, Democrats to redraw lines in ways less favorable to Republicans.
Today’s ruling could affect the balance of power in state legislatures and Congress for years to come.
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