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Agre v. Wolf

A group of Pennsylvania citizens are challenging the state’s 2011 congressional map as a partisan gerrymander violating the Elections Clause and First and Fourteenth Amendments.

Published: May 29, 2018

Note: The Brennan Center is not a participant in this case.

Case Background

Four Pennsylvania citizens allege in a suit filed in federal district court that the state’s 2011 congressional map is a partisan gerrymander. The plaintiffs assert that the 2011 plan unlawfully places citizens into congressional districts based upon their likely voting preferences. The plaintiffs also claim that the General Assembly’s plan seeks to influence the political identity of Pennsylvania’s congressional representatives. These actions, the plaintiffs contend, violate the Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the First and Fourteenth Amendment. The plaintiffs have asked the court to redraw the districts before the 2018 congressional elections. 

On November 15, the three-judge panel denied the legislative defendants’ motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ claim under the Elections Clause. The court dismissed the plaintiffs’ equal protection claim with prejudice and also dismissed their First Amendment claim. The plaintiffs filed an amended First Amendment claim which the court dismissed on November 30.  

The court completed trial in the case on December 7, 2017. 

On January 10, 2018, in a 2–1 judgment, the court rejected the plaintiffs’ remaining claims. The plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the Supreme Court on January 18. 

On May 29, the Court dismissed the appeal as moot.


District Court

U.S. Supreme Court 

Jurisdictional Stage