The Campaign Legal Center, which is litigating the landmark case Whitford v. Gill to end partisan gerrymandering, recently released a report, Make Democracy Count: Ending Partisan Gerrymandering.
The report highlights the impact partisan gerrymandering, or the drawing of electoral district lines to benefit one political party, has on our democracy and suggests a key solution that can be used to ensure fair elections nationwide.
“Partisan gerrymandering is increasingly becoming the political weapon of choice for legislators to maintain power,” said Gerry Hebert, executive director of the Campaign Legal Center. “Currently, politicians are allowed to choose their own voters and draw voting maps that are self-serving, at the expense of American voters and our democracy as a whole. The practice is to blame for Americans’ distrust in our government, and a significant reason for the hyper-partisanship and political gridlock we currently see in state and federal politics.”
Make Democracy Count details how partisan gerrymandering creates an unrepresentative and unfair democracy and encourages self-interested politics. The report also showcases the toll this undemocratic practice has on real voters.
In addition, CLC’s report explains the efficiency gap, a solution for measuring partisan effects put forward in the case, Whitford v. Gill, which went to trial in May before a three-judge Wisconsin district court. In Whitford, 12 Wisconsin voters, represented by CLC and local attorneys, challenged the state’s Assembly map, one of the most extreme partisan gerrymanders in modern American history. A decision in the case is expected soon.
“The Supreme Court has not yet adopted a standard for determining whether a redistricting plan is an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander, leaving voters with little or no recourse through our judicial system,” said Ruth Greenwood, senior redistricting counsel for the Campaign Legal Center. “If our case is appealed to the Supreme Court, and if the high court embraces the efficiency gap as a test for unlawful gerrymandering, it would go a long way to restoring fair elections and ensuring that every voter is entitled to equal protection under the law and to have their voice heard.”
Learn more about Whitford v. Gill.