The U.S. Supreme Court denied North Carolina and Pennsylvania Republicans’ efforts to block new congressional maps in their state, giving the Democrats a leg-up in the upcoming midterm election. GOP members had hoped the conservative-leaning court would vote to reinstate gerrymandered maps.

In the North Carolina case, the liberal wing of the court was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh to uphold the state court’s decision to strike down a congressional map passed by the GOP-majority state legislature. The state court ruled that the gerrymandered map contradicted the state constitution.

The new map splits the state’s 14 districts evenly. Going by the newly drawn map, five districts would have convincingly voted for President Joe Biden, six would have voted for former President Donald Trump by a large margin and the three remaining districts would have had 10-point margins in either direction.

“It is too late for the federal courts to order that the district lines be changed for the 2022 primary and general elections,” Kavanagh added.

In the Pennsylvania case, the Supreme Court upheld a map that created nine Republican-leaning districts and eight Democrat-leaning districts. Pennsylvania GOP members had presented a map that would have created seven Republican districts and five Democratic districts, with the rest going either way, save for one strong to vote red district.

Both rulings were decided by where the justices stood on state agencies and courts being in charge of interpreting the law versus the state legislatures having sole power over elections and redistricting per the U.S. Constitution.

The court is still deliberating on Wisconsin’s new congressional map.

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