The liberal Justices repeatedly demonstrated that this case is not about neutral rules of a forum, or technical issues of civil procedure, but about basic concepts of power.
Most Americans are offended by partisan gerrymandering. It would make it more likely that radio, television and online news programs would cover arguments, because they could include excerpts (yes, the dreaded "sound bites") from the justices' questions and comments. "We think this court should get this case right and not rush".
"It is hard to argue that current levels of gerrymandering lead to better governance", wrote Micah France, of Millersville.
How has that worked out in Wisconsin? The same thing happened in Iowa this year.
The apex court said the Constitution Bench could add any other question it deems appropriate or even modify the seven questions submitted for its consideration.
It would be a major injustice and raise further doubts about the fairness of the court if judicial party-line voting of Republican justices continues and they vote as a block to allow partisan Republican gerrymandering, after voting as a bloc to destroy campaign finance laws and to undermine the Voting Rights Act. A partisan gerrymander tries to maximise the opponent's wasted votes by "packing" and "cracking"-creating a few safe districts that they win overwhelmingly, while spreading the rest of their voters as thinly as possible". Five of the eight USA representatives are Republicans.
There are two bills, now gasping for air in the General Assembly, that would establish a bipartisan citizens redistricting commission. Despite getting less than half the statewide vote in the 2012 elections, under the redrawn maps, Republicans won 60 of the 99 seats in the Wisconsin assembly.
The Supreme Court agreed to hear the matter and resolve a split among the federal Circuit Courts of Appeals on this issue.
The court was divided then, and the key vote was Justice Anthony Kennedy, who sided with the argument that courts should not be part of those types of cases. As usual, Justice Clarence Thomas said nothing at all. It could have big impacts on who you vote for moving forward.
"What's really behind all of this", Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said during arguments, is "the precious right to vote". "And can I say that long, long ago, marijuana was maybe present at those parties". If the Supreme Court has previously embraced a principle of "one person, one vote", which it did all the way back in 1964, why is it that North Carolina has 10 Republican representatives out of 13 when only 50 percent of the population voted for congressional Republican candidates? A partisan gerrymander wouldn't necessarily remain more acceptable than a racial one. And it is partly because Democratic voters, in Wisconsin and nationally, are inefficiently distributed, disproportionately concentrated in cities and college towns, such as Milwaukee and Madison.
Sotomayor was similarly skeptical. "I like my turmeric and other spices, but I'm not going to tell you how much". Sotomayor asked how political gerrymander "helps our system of government".
Vladeck said that while partisan gerrymandering has played a role in USA elections since the 19th century, access to better data has given politicians the ability to carve and create favorable districts in a "more shameless" fashion that heretofore.
Chief Justice John Roberts sounded concerned about a ruling for the workers, which he said "would invalidate contracts for 25 million employees".
In a well-functioning democratic republic, each vote must be counted and also needs to have a chance of counting. If the Court similarly holds that workers do not have a substantive right under the NLRA to vindicate their labor and employment rights collectively, then it is likely that soon nearly every non-union worker will face even more limitations to real justice.
Roberts continued: "The intelligent man on the street" will deduce that, if the Supreme Court rules with Democrats in a gerrymandering case, "it must be because the Supreme Court preferred the Democrats over the Republicans".
Justice Chandrachud said, "Somebody should come and see in the court how the government is hauled up every day".
The justices will hand down a decision by June 30, 2018.