Plaintiffs and Litigators Urge Supreme Court to Strike Down Gerrymanders
Voters nationwide are ready for a ruling that will put the voters, not lawmakers, first
WASHINGTON – Justices will hear arguments today about the intentional manipulation of voting maps by Republicans in North Carolina and Democrats in Maryland for partisan political gain. By striking down both maps in a decision expected in June, the U.S. Supreme Court has the potential to reshape future redistricting nationwide by limiting politicians’ ability to discriminate against voters who favor the minority party through the process of drawing electoral districts. Campaign Legal Center (CLC), the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ), and University of Chicago Professor Nicholas Stephanopoulos represent the League of Women Voters of North Carolina and 12 individual North Carolina plaintiffs. A companion case, brought by lead plaintiff Common Cause and others, was also heard today. The Maryland case is called Lamone v. Benisek.
“Voters nationwide are ready for a ruling that will put the voters and not lawmakers first,” said Paul Smith, vice president at CLC and counsel of record in in Rucho v. League of Women Voters of North Carolina. “It is still possible for voters in North Carolina and Maryland to have fair maps drawn in time for the pivotal 2020 elections. Both Republicans and Democrats are guilty of rigging the system by drawing lines to maximize their own party's advantage, so these cases present the justices with a unique opportunity. A supermajority of Americans – across ideological lines – want the U.S. Supreme Court to place limits on partisan gerrymandering. Citizens in all 50 states deserve to be able to choose their representatives – and not the other way around.”
CLC released a poll in January that finds strong opposition to gerrymandering among likely 2020 general election voters and broad, bipartisan support for the U.S. Supreme Court to set clear rules for when gerrymandering violates the U.S. Constitution. Nearly three-quarters of voters support the U.S. Supreme Court establishing clear rules for when gerrymandering violates the Constitution, with broad support extending across partisan and racial lines.
A video released by CLC on March 7 highlights the stories of voters whose voices were silenced in North Carolina by self-interested politicians.
While we will continue the fight in court to curb the constitutional harms caused by extreme partisan gerrymandering, CLC also supports efforts to mitigate those harms through a more independent map drawing process. Learn more about the movement to establish citizen-led redistricting commissions in the states.