An exuberant crowd of democracy reformers gathered outside the Supreme Court this morning as the justices heard oral arguments in Gill v. Whitford, a potentially landmark challenge to partisan gerrymandering.
Common Cause submitted an amicus brief urging the high court to declare that partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional; we also organized the filing of a series of companion briefs, including some from both Republican and Democratic elected officials.
You can read a full transcript of the arguments here.
As the justices heard arguments inside, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed the crowd on the court’s steps. The governor, a Republican, is an outspoken opponent of gerrymandering; while in office, he joined forces with California Common Cause to win passage of a ballot initiative creating the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, an independent body that has given the Golden State some of the nation’s most competitive election districts.
The California commission is now considered a national model; it's success has sparked a drive to create similar independent panels in states across the country.
Gill v. Whitford is one of a group of legal challenges to gerrymandering making their way through federal courts. In North Carolina, Common Cause is the lead plaintiff in Common Cause v. Rucho, which challenges North Carolina congressional maps that Republican legislators have acknowledged were drawn to ensure the election of GOP candidates. A three judge court is expected to hear evidence in that case later this month.
Office: Common Cause National
Issues: Voting and Elections