U.S. Supreme Court justices on Wednesday appeared conflicted in a closely watched case from Maryland over the practice of gerrymandering.

Legislative districts are redrawn nationwide every decade to reflect population changes after the national census.  Redistricting in most states is done by the party in power, though some states, in the interest of fairness, assign the task to independent commissions.

The justices heard an argument in a challenge by Republicans voters to a U.S. House of Representative district in Maryland that was reconfigured by Democratic state legislators that helped the Democrats defeat an incumbent Republican congressman. The Maryland voters, supported by Republican Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, appealed a lower court ruling rejecting their challenge.

The Supreme Court for decades has invalidated state electoral maps because of racial discrimination but not due to partisan advantage.

The justices seemed no closer to answering the crucial question in this case and a similar one involving Wisconsin as the whether courts should be able to intervene to block the manipulation of electoral district boundaries purely in favor of one party over another.

On October 3, the court, which has a 5-4 conservative majority, seemed similarly conflicted when it heard a challenge by Democratic voters to Republican-drawn legislative districts statewide in Wisconsin. The court has yet to issue a ruling in the Wisconsin case.

The rulings in the two cases, due by the end of June, could alter the political landscape; either by imposing limits on partisan gerrymandering or by allowing it even in its most extreme forms.

Liberal Justice Stephen Breyer suggested the court delay a decision and instead hear another round of arguments in its next term, starting in October, along with a similar case from North Carolina.

Conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy, a key vote in the case, raised concerns about a ruling so soon before November’s mid-term election but also indicated there was evidence of partisan intent in Maryland.

However, Maryland’s lawyer Steven Sullivan said the law enacting the state’s electoral map contained no language suggesting partisan intent. “So, if you hide the evidence of what you are doing, you’re going to prevail,” Kennedy sharply asked Sullivan.

The question before the Supreme Court is whether Maryland’s electoral map violated the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment guarantee of free speech. The legal theory pursued by the challengers is that Republican voters were retaliated against by Democrats based on their political views. Conservative Justice Samuel Alito on Wednesday told the Maryland plaintiffs’ lawyer he did not think their First Amendment challenge offered a workable standard.

The Wisconsin challengers presented an alternative argument, focusing on the Constitution’s 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection under the law because of the extent to which it marginalized Democratic voters.