REACTION: Democrat, Republican leaders criticize Supreme Court for partisan gerrymandering ruling
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a bad 5-4 decision in two landmark gerrymandering cases—giving politicians the green light to draw rigged maps in states across the country. The cases, Common Cause v. Rucho and Lamone v. Benisek, hoped to fix partisan gerrymanders in North Carolina and Maryland, respectively—where both Democrats and Republicans had rigged electoral maps in their favor.
Activists assembled on the court’s steps, advocates made waves in the press, and some politicians have sounded off to call out the Supreme Court on its disastrous decision.
As the justices hang up their robes for the summer, the fight for fair maps and representation continues—with quite a few Democrats and Republicans stepping into the fray. Let’s take a look at what some of the big names are saying.
Among the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential field, Sen. Elizabeth Warren started her own mini-thread, where she called out the Supreme Court and called for more independent redistricting commissions in the states. Sen. Kamala Harris took a firm stance too, and declared that “banning partisan gerrymandering will be a top priority” for her as president.
The Supreme Court's decision is an abomination. Five Republican-appointed justices gave the green light to partisan gerrymandering—which lets Republicans pursue their extreme agenda without accountability to the people. It's bad for our democracy and we need to fight back.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) June 27, 2019
Politicians shouldn’t be able to pick their voters, voters should choose their representatives. The Supreme Court's gerrymandering decision will have drastic consequences for the future of our nation. As president, banning partisan gerrymandering will be a top priority.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 27, 2019
Sen. Michael Bennet answered the call when asked by Common Cause what he would do to end partisan gerrymandering too–coming out firmly against the court’s decision.
I 100% disagree with the Supreme Court's decision. They've thrown up their hands and given up on democracy.
That’s why I have a plan to ban partisan gerrymandering. Voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around.https://t.co/58Bc7FAiz9 https://t.co/7qxj6CRtcO
— Michael Bennet (@MichaelBennet) June 28, 2019
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders had tweets of their own, calling out the Supreme Court for letting state politicians for “rig our democracy.”
Today the Supreme Court refused to stop politicians rigging our democracy by writing election rules for their own benefit. It couldn’t have happened without Justices put there by Donald Trump and Republicans — another reason why Democrats must take back the White House in 2020.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 27, 2019
Today, the Supreme Court gave Republican politicians across the country the approval to rig our democracy and suppress voters with racist, gerrymandered maps. This is is not what democracy is about. We can take back power by registering and mobilizing new voters. https://t.co/JBIgSO2kmh
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 27, 2019
As did former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, referencing the disproportionate impact gerrymandering has on communities of color.
There's ample evidence that Republicans in office have pursued gerrymandered maps to shut out people of color from our political process. I'm disappointed but not surprised about today's anti-democratic decision.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 27, 2019
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for action as well. Pelosi issued a statement connecting the issue back to H.R.1, the For the People Act, which would require states to set up independent citizens redistricting commissions.
The Supreme Court’s decision greenlighting the unjust and deeply dangerous practice of #gerrymandering strikes at the very heart of our American democracy. Congress must act. https://t.co/430vttRS4F
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) June 27, 2019
Today’s Supreme Court decision to allow hyper-partisan gerrymandering is a devastating blow to our democracy, and the American people, particularly communities of color, will greatly suffer because of it.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 27, 2019
Eric Holder, the former Attorney General under President Obama who has since made gerrymandering his top issue, tweeted out his own message—reminding us that the states and the people can still fix redistricting without the court.
Let me be very clear. In spite of the troubling Supreme Court gerrymandering ruling we continue to fight. We still have both more tools and the strong will to bring fairness to our democracy. We need concerned citizens to join us. Nothing worth having comes easy. We can do this
— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) June 27, 2019
But it wasn’t just Democrats calling out the court on for ducking its responsibility to bring justice to North Carolina and Maryland voters. Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger tweeted out a thread of his own, pointing out that “this isn’t the end of our fight to terminate gerrymandering.”
While I’m disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision, this isn’t the end of our fight to terminate gerrymandering.
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) June 27, 2019
He even threw in a gif for good measure.
Now, back to work. Let’s #terminategerrymandering pic.twitter.com/ZOVzaXvwVn
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) June 27, 2019
Former Ohio Governor and GOP presidential candidate John Kasich took to Twitter as well, pointing out the power states have to end gerrymandering, regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision.
The Supreme Court has ruled. Now states need to minimize gerrymandering like we did in Ohio to have a more effective political system. #Gerrymandering #SCOTUS
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) June 27, 2019
As did two Republican officials from Maryland, where Democratic maps were recently challenged. Governor Larry Hogan and U.S. Congressman Andy Harris pointed out how both parties are guilty of gerrymandering today.
Today’s ruling was terribly disappointing to all who believe in fair elections. I pledge to vigorously continue this fight, both in Maryland and across our nation. Gerrymandering is wrong, and both parties are guilty. https://t.co/BhRqRPzIIo
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) June 27, 2019
My statement on the Supreme Court’s #gerrymandering decision today: pic.twitter.com/90mdnPb72O
— Rep. Andy Harris, MD (@RepAndyHarrisMD) June 27, 2019
As the Twittersphere erupted following the Supreme Court’s decision, one thing was made especially clear: the bipartisan push to stop gerrymandering and draw fair maps is far from over.
Learn more about what we’re doing to end gerrymandering, and sign our pledge to tell your lawmakers that fair maps matter.