Evaluating Partisan Gerrymandering in New Mexico (Republican Party of New Mexico v. Oliver)
At a Glance
Campaign Legal Center and co-counsel are representing a group of redistricting experts and civic organizations in presenting the legal framework and relevant evidence for the New Mexico state courts to adjudicate partisan gerrymandering claims.Back to top
About this Case
In 2022, a group of New Mexico voters, current and former legislators, and the Republican Party of New Mexico filed a lawsuit arguing that the state’s congressional map passed by the legislature was an unlawful partisan gerrymander in violation of the New Mexico Constitution. In an appeal, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that challenges to partisan gerrymandering present justiciable claims and extreme gerrymandering violates New Mexico’s Equal Protection Clause, sending the case back to the trial court to evaluate the applicable evidence.
CLC’s Amicus Brief
CLC submitted a friend-of-the-court amicus brief in the state trial court that explains the applicable three-part legal standard that the New Mexico Supreme Court adopted and describes the range of expert evidence relevant at each part.
Skewing electoral districts to gain a political advantage is wrong and bad for democracy, no matter which political party is doing the partisan gerrymandering. The problems of gerrymandering are only getting worse with the swift advancements in technology. The combination of an increasingly polarized electorate and the sophisticated tools that propel today’s mapmaking enables gerrymanderers to dilute the voting strength of a disfavored group of voters with precision, entrench favored incumbents, and often secure preferred electoral outcomes for a decade.
Courts are critical to correct this democratic dysfunction. And many of the same technological advancements and data that enable gerrymanderers can also be used to scrutinize the challenged map and show why it may be unlawful.
CLC’s amicus brief, on behalf of their clients, seeks to give the New Mexico state courts additional tools and context to evaluate the evidence and reach a resolution.
Parties in the brief include Common Cause New Mexico, the League of Women Voters of New Mexico, Election Reformers Network, Dr. Samuel Wang (Electoral Innovation Lab), Paul Mitchell (Redistricting Partners LLC), Dr. Jonathan Cervas (Carnegie Mellon University) and Roderick Kennedy (retired judge of the New Mexico Court of Appeals and co-chair of the New Mexico Redistricting Task Force).