The Atlantic

The Supreme Court Would Prefer Not To

Amid the partisan crossfire of Washington, Gill v. Whitford provides the latest example of the justices keeping their heads down.
Source: Joshua Roberts / Reuters

A 1960s novelty toy consisted of a small plastic box with a jointed lid and a switch. When the switch was turned on, a hand emerged, grabbed the switch and turned it off, then retreated back into the box.

Big fun.

The Supreme Court’s October 2017 term, which will lurch to its end next week, has, to a surprising extent, come to seem like that novelty toy. Though last October promised a crop of blockbusters, the Court so far has taken every possible opportunity to avoid important decisions.

On Monday, the Court bailed out of the high-profile Wisconsin gerrymandering case on highly technical grounds. But is not the only major case the Court has ducked; indeed, it is not the only major case the Court ducked during that very half-hour session Monday. The justices also artfully dodged a companion gerrymandering case from Maryland, and delivered a narrow, and perhaps temporary, win

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
House Insurrections Are Here to Stay
There’s nothing new about a speaker managing dissent. And these fights are likely to intensify.
The Atlantic4 min readSociety
The Suffragists Who Opposed Birth Control
Editor’s Note: Read more stories in our series about women and political power. You would think suffragists, those corset-clad beacons of girl power, would support women’s right to have sex for pleasure. You’d be, for the most part, wrong. Mainstrea
The Atlantic4 min readScience
California’s Wildfires Are 500 Percent Larger Due to Climate Change
“Each degree of warming causes way more fire than the previous degree of warming did. And that’s a really big deal.”