It's well known that when legislatures draw maps, the majority protects members of their own party. When courts do maps, do they do the same thing? If so, what are some modern-day examples where a state's conservative (liberal) majority drew a Republican (democratic) gerrymander when they were given the power to draw the map?


When courts draw maps, do they gerrymander?

Courts do not draw maps, though they have authority to invalidate maps drawn.

2 U.S. Code § 2c. Number of Congressional Districts; number of Representatives from each District

In each State entitled in the Ninety-first Congress or in any subsequent Congress thereafter to more than one Representative under an apportionment made pursuant to the provisions of section 2a(a) of this title, there shall be established by law a number of districts equal to the number of Representatives to which such State is so entitled, and Representatives shall be elected only from districts so established, no district to elect more than one Representative ...

It is required for any state with more than one Representative, that state will have a law for the purpose of dividing the state into districts. How this is done is left to the legislature of that state. The legislature may perform the redistricting itself (most do) or assign the redistricting to an independent body.

Redistricting commission

In Arizona, the Arizona Commission on Appellate Court Appointments, chaired by the chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, selects the members of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.

In New Jersey, the state's Supreme Court chooses one member.

In Washington, the state Supreme Court, if necessary, selects a non-voting member to chair the commission.

In no case does any court involve itself directly with the redistricting decisions made by these commissions. The court becomes involved only when a complaint is filed with the court.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .