FILE - In this April 1, 2019, file photo, Mindy Nagel poses for a photograph at the threshold of her home in Cincinnati. Nagel's home is split by two House districts. The Supreme Court said, by a 5-4 vote on Thursday, June 27, 2019, that claims of partisan gerrymandering do not belong in federal court. The court's conservative, Republican-appointed majority says that voters and elected officials should be the arbiters of what is a political dispute The decision effectively reverses the outcome of rulings in Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina and Ohio, where courts had ordered new maps drawn. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

High court's ruling shifts gerrymandering focus to states

June 27, 2019 - 11:07 pm

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The battle for political advantage in state capitols is poised to become more intense after the U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring that federal judges have no role in settling disputes over partisan gerrymandering.

Thursday's ruling could empower Republicans and Democrats who hold full control of state legislatures and governorships to become even more aggressive in drawing districts to their benefit after the 2020 census.

It could shift legal challenges against partisan gerrymandering to state courts. And it could prompt more efforts to reform redistricting procedures through amendments to state constitutions.

Ultimately, it also could mean that voters upset with the party in power must seek change the old-fashioned way — by electing different lawmakers, no matter how difficult that might seem in gerrymandered districts.

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