A Flurry of Courts Have Ruled on Election Maps. Here’s What They’ve Said.

Protesters stood outside the Supreme Court while holding signs against Wisconsin’s gerrymandering on Oct. 3.

Updated on March 19.

Judges in a number of states have recently thrown out election maps, saying that they have been gerrymandered to the point of being unconstitutional, effectively dooming one party to permanent underrepresentation.

The decisions are certain to have drawn the Supreme Court’s interest as it mulls a resolution to the question of extreme partisan gerrymanders. The justices are expected to decide this spring whether the practice violates the Constitution, and if so, how to determine whether an electoral map is fairly drawn.

Here are the basics of the major contested cases.

How many seats does each party hold?

Republican candidates received 54 percent of the vote in 2016, and won 13 of the state’s 18 seats. Democratic candidates received 46 percent of the votes and won five seats.

What’s happened so far?

The State Supreme Court ruled on Jan. 22 that the map “clearly, plainly and palpably” violated the State Constitution and ordered the map redrawn. The Republicans who control the State Legislature asked the United States Supreme Court to block the state court’s order, but were turned down.

The Republican leaders then drew a new map with less convoluted district lines than before, but Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor, Tom Wolf, refused to approve it, saying it was just as severely gerrymandered for partisan advantage as the old map was.

Without a new map approved by the Legislature and the governor, the court drew one of its own, which it released on Feb. 19, along with a new timetable for nominating petitions, so that the 2018 midterm elections could be conducted using the new map.

Based on 2016 voting patterns, seven of the new districts would seem likely to elect Republicans, five would seem likely to elect Democrats and six appear to be competitive.

Republicans tried to challenge the state court’s imposition of a new map in federal court. They were thwarted twice in a matter of hours on March 19 — first when a three-judge federal panel threw out one challenge, saying it lacked jurisdiction and the Republican state senators who brought the challenge lacked standing, and then when the United States Supreme Court rejected a separate request for it to intercede.

What’s next?

As things stand, the May 15 primary and Nov. 6 midterm general election for House seats will be held using the new map. The deadline for candidates to file nomination petitions for the primary is Tuesday.

How many seats does each party hold?

In the most recent general election, 52 percent of the votes were cast for Republican Assembly candidates, who won almost two-thirds of the seats — 64 out of 99. Democrats received 46 percent of the vote and won 35 seats.

What’s happened so far?

In November 2016, a panel of three judges ruled that the map was unconstitutionally drawn to favor Republicans, the first time a partisan gerrymander was struck down in federal court. The ruling was notable, according to experts, because it provided a clear mathematical formula to measure how partisan a district map is.

The decision was appealed to the Supreme Court, which took the case (known as Gill v. Whitford) and heard arguments in October 2017.

What’s next?

The Supreme Court is expected to rule in the spring, probably setting the course for the other cases in federal court as well.

How many seats does each party hold?

In 2016, Republican candidates received 53 percent of the votes cast, and won 10 of the state’s 13 seats; Democrats received 47 percent of the votes and won three seats.

What’s happened so far?

The map was thrown out and ordered redrawn by a panel of three federal judges on Jan. 9, who said that Republicans had drawn it most recently in 2016 in an attempt to gain a political advantage. The Supreme Court temporarily blocked the lower court’s order to redraw the map nine days later.

What’s next?

It’s unclear. The Supreme Court has not said whether it will schedule arguments in the case, known as Rucho v. Common Cause. The court may choose instead to let whatever ruling it issues in another gerrymandering case stand as its final word on the matter. Because of the temporary block, experts say the current North Carolina map will probably remain in effect for the midterm elections this fall.

How many seats does each party hold?

Statewide, Democrats hold seven of the state’s eight House seats, including the Sixth Congressional District, while Republicans hold one.

What’s happened so far?

The boundaries of the district have been the subject of legal challenges since they were drawn in 2011. In the current case, known as Benisek v. Lamone, Republicans were denied a preliminary injunction by a three-judge federal panel, and appealed that denial to the Supreme Court, which unexpectedly took the case.

The plaintiffs argue that Democratic state lawmakers drew the map to place the Republican who had held the seat for 10 terms, Roscoe G. Bartlett, at a political disadvantage, violating the voters’ First Amendment rights. Mr. Bartlett was defeated in 2012.

What’s next?

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in the case in late March. The map remains in effect for the time being.

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