Today, the Supreme Court concluded in a 5-4 decision in Rucho v. Common Cause and Lamone v. Benisek that it would not curb egregious partisan gerrymandering in North Carolina and Maryland and that the federal courts had no ability to adjudicate legal claims over such anti-democratic districting.
Statement to be attributed to Demos President K. Sabeel Rahman
Today’s Supreme Court decision that federal courts have no ability to check extreme partisan gerrymandering is a stunning blow to our democracy. The Court has thrown up its hands and left Americans at the mercy of politicians who draw their own district lines to deliberately silence voters and entrench their own power.
Partisan gerrymandering is blatantly unconstitutional. In America, voters choose their representatives, not the other way around. Today’s decision will embolden corrupt politicians and skew public policy on the issues that impact our communities. This decision represents an abdication of judicial responsibility to protect against constitutional violations. And more troubling, this decision creates a massive loophole that future legislatures can use to justify and implement gerrymanders that will directly reduce the political voice and standing of working families and communities of color.
The Supreme Court will not save our democracy. They are helping to further dismantle it. We need structural change to protect our democracy, and we, the people, are going to have to fight for it. In the state courts, the halls of Congress and state legislatures, and at the ballot box.