Supreme Court likely to decide this fall if it will hear the case
Common Cause today filed a motion to affirm Common Cause v. Rucho, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to agree with a trial court ruling that North Carolina’s congressional map is an illegal partisan gerrymander. If the Supreme Court decides to hear Common Cause v. Rucho, it could result in the first ever decision by the high court stating that partisan gerrymandering violates the U.S. Constitution.
“The blatant partisan gerrymandering in North Carolina has robbed voters of their voice for at least three election cycles and it will do so again in November,” said Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause North Carolina. “The legislative leaders’ unmitigated gall in manipulating district lines for partisan power brings into sharp focus how serious partisan gerrymandering is. If the Supreme Court takes this case, we are confident we will ultimately prevail.”
“Governments shred the Constitution when they enact laws that intentionally favor people of one party and disfavor others, and that is exactly what happened with North Carolina’s congressional map,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause. “North Carolina’s redistricting by party leaders purposefully silences voters of the minority party. An affirmation by the Supreme Court would arrest this unconstitutional practice in North Carolina and nationwide.”
“The sad fact is that the partisan gerrymandering in North Carolina is not an exception, it’s the rule,” said Kathay Feng, Common Cause national redistricting director. “Everywhere we see politicians with the power to draw maps, we see people’s voices silenced. Until we recognize the Constitution protects against the government engaging in gerrymandering that burdens our right to political association, a true representative democracy is impossible.”
About Common Cause v. Rucho
Common Cause is a plaintiff in a challenge to North Carolina’s congressional map. After the map was struck down as an unconstitutional racial gerrymander in 2016, leaders in the legislature announced that they would redraw districts with the explicit intent to ensure that 10 of 13 remain in Republican control. Common Cause sued on the grounds that the new districts are an illegal partisan gerrymander. The trial court ruled in our favor on all counts and in League of Women Voters of North Carolina v. Rucho, a case that was consolidated with ours.
Common Cause was joined in the litigation by the North Carolina Democratic Party and voters in each of the 13 gerrymandered districts. Plaintiffs are represented by Emmet J. Bondurant, Jason J. Carter, and Benjamin W. Thorpe of Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore, LLP; Gregory L. Diskant, Jonah M. Knobler, Peter A. Nelson and Elena Steiger Reich of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP; and Edwin M. Speas, Jr., Caroline P. Mackie and Steve Epstein of Poyner Spruill LLP.
To read the motion to affirm here, click here.
To view the Common Cause v. Rucho home page, click here.
To follow all of our redistricting work by subscribing to the Gerrymander Gazette, click here.