SCOTUS: Democrat-Drawn Maps in PA, NC Can Stay – For Now

The Supreme Court declined to hear a GOP challenge to Democratic court-drawn maps in PA and NC before the 2022 elections.


The Supreme Court allowed electoral maps drawn by the Democratic-controlled Pennsylvania and North Carolina supreme courts to stay in place for the 2022 elections.

  • State courts in both states imposed their own maps after throwing out plans passed by their Republican-controlled legislatures for giving Republicans unfair advantages.
  • Both the North Carolina and Pennsylvania court-imposed plans are expected to benefit Democrats, increasing their chances of keeping control of the US House of Representatives after the November elections.
  • Pennsylvania’s new map will have 11 Congressional seats safe for their party – 6 Democratic, 5 Republican – and 5 potentially competitive seats. The Supreme Court eliminated one safe GOP seat as PA lost one seat in the census.
  • North Carolina’s Supreme Court vacated a favorable GOP map for an evenly split 7-7 map in a state no Democrat has carried at the presidential level in fourteen years.
  • Three conservative justices dissented from the Supreme Court’s decision to not interfere with the state courts’ rulings. These justices, led by Justice Samuel Alito, argued the case presented a good opportunity to consider the Constitutional limits on state courts’ power vis a vis state legislatures.
  • A fourth – Brett Kavanaugh – indicated willingness to hear a case on the merits of a state legislature’s power to draw maps without interference from state courts. He allowed the PA and NC maps to stand for now because it is too close to the date of the primary election.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The Washington Post’s reporting focused how the role of state courts the conservative justices’ preferred – the “independent state legislature” theory – would work in action.
  • The New York Times provided more background on the legal path the two states’ maps took to get to the Supreme Court.
  • Slate characterized a Supreme Court decision favorable to Democrats as the Supreme Court coming “perilously close to blowing up federal elections.”




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© Dominic Moore, 2022