Gerrymandering lawsuits linger as next redistricting nears

A busy year of legal battles is getting underway over allegations that hundreds of legislative districts across the country were illegally drawn to disadvantage certain voters or political parties.

First up is a court hearing Thursday in Virginia, where a federal judicial panel is reviewing proposals to redraw some state House districts that it determined were racially gerrymandered.

Next on the schedule is a February trial in Michigan over allegations that U.S. House and state legislative districts were illegally gerrymandered to benefit Republicans. A similar lawsuit is on tap for March in Ohio.

The U.S. Supreme Court also has agreed to hear arguments in March on separate cases appealing rulings of unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts by Republicans in North Carolina and Democrats in Maryland.