The U.S. Supreme Court has avoided a definitive ruling for or against partisan gerrymandering in a Wisconsin case. It’s not clear that the high court’s ruling in Gill v. Whitford will lead to any changes for North Carolina’s election maps this fall.

Rather than deal with the key question of whether a state legislature can engage in too much partisan gerrymandering, justices agreed in a 7-2 vote to return the Wisconsin case to a lower court to address issues related to the plaintiffs’ legal standing to bring the complaint. Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch disagreed. They argued that the plaintiffs’ failure to prove standing means that the case should be dismissed.

“[A] plaintiff seeking relief in federal court must first demonstrate that he has standing to do so, including that he has ‘a personal stake in the outcome,’ distinct from a ‘generally avail­able grievance about government,'” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority. “That threshold re­quirement ‘ensures that we act as judges, and do not engage in policymaking properly left to elected representa­tives.’

Certain of the plaintiffs before us alleged that they had such a personal stake in this case, but never followed up with the requisite proof. The District Court and this Court therefore lack the power to resolve their claims. We vacate the judgment and remand the case for further proceedings, in the course of which those plaintiffs may attempt to demonstrate standing in accord with the analy­sis in this opinion.”

In a related case from Maryland, the full Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s decision not to block a redistricting plan drawn by Democrats and challenged by Republicans.