Supreme Court Leaves Door Open for Reining In Partisan Gerrymandering

August 13, 2018
Issues
Image
Gerrymandered districts before U.S. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court today left the door wide open for it to rein in partisan gerrymandering. The Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of the case. Instead, the Court returned the case to Wisconsin district court. Fortunately, the Supreme Court provided a clear roadmap of what it expects to see presented in district court before it sets a legal standard for partisan gerrymandering nationwide.

Advocates for fair elections are highlighting Justice Elana Kagan’s statement in the decision, in which she decried the practice of gerrymandering, which she describes as partisan officials “degrading the nation’s democracy.” She expressed her hope that “Courts – and in particular this court – will again be called on to redress extreme partisan gerrymanders.” She continued to say, “I am hopeful we will then step up to our responsibility to vindicate the Constitution against a contrary law.”

In a statement to reporters on decision day, CLC Vice President Paul Smith, who argued the case before the Court on October 3, 2017, said "this case is very much still alive. We now have the opportunity to demonstrate the real and concrete harms that result from partisan gerrymandering in the lower court, the same court that struck down the Wisconsin mapping scheme to begin with."

The momentum continues forward, as Americans overwhelmingly support the Supreme Court taking action to end partisan gerrymandering.

Read the decision.