Aug 11 – The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday temporarily blocked a lower court ruling that had opened the door to a ballot measure in Oregon to create an independent commission to redraw electoral district lines in the state.
The justices granted a request by Oregon officials to put on hold a July 10 injunction by U.S. District Judge Michael McShane in Eugene that had ordered the state to reduce the number of signatures needed to place the measure on the November ballot amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Two of the nine justices, liberals Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, said they would have left the lower court’s order in place.
The drawing of electoral districts in Oregon currently is carried out by the state legislature. Some election reform advocates have promoted the establishment of independent commissions to delineate electoral districts, saying many state legislatures draw political maps intended to boost the election prospects of the party already in power.
The commission proposed in Oregon would draw electoral maps for both chambers of the state legislature and for U.S. House of Representatives seats. (Reporting by Andrew Chung in New York; Editing by Will Dunham)