Statement on U.S Supreme Court Decisions on Gerrymandering and Census Citizenship Question

The Constitution is clear about what must happen now. We the people have the power to bar partisan gerrymandering.

Statement on U.S Supreme Court Decisions on Gerrymandering and Census Citizenship Question

Michael Waldmanpresident of the Brennan Center for Justice, issued the following statement:

On the census, the Trump administration’s lies went so far that even this Supreme Court had to say no. If this leads to a result with no citizenship question, that would be a very welcome outcome, and it would also preserve the status quo. This should have been an easy case, and in the end, it was.

But Chief Justice Roberts’ ruling that no federal court can ever consider claims of extreme and unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering is truly appalling for the long term health of our democracy. It’s a judicial green light for egregious partisanship, a permission slip for politicians to entrench themselves without fear of judicial intervention.

The Constitution is clear about what must happen now. We the people have the power to bar partisan gerrymandering. States and Congress can prevent it, and can create independent nonpartisan redistricting commissions. Voters enacted redistricting reform in five states last year. And the House of Representatives passed a national ban on partisan gerrymandering and a requirement for states to establish independent panels as part of H.R. 1, the For the People Act. Time is of the essence.

Fixing our democracy now has been placed at the center of our politics by a Supreme Court that saw an unconstitutional situation and refused to do anything about it. It should be a topic at tonight’s debate, and all debates going forward.

In addition to Waldman, the following Brennan Center experts are available for comment:

For the decision on the census question, Wendy R. Weiser, Vice President for Democracy,  Kelly Percival, counsel with the Democracy Program, and Thomas Wolf, counsel with the Democracy Program.

For the decision on gerrymandering, Weiser, Wolf, Michael Li, senior counsel with the Democracy Program and Yurij Rudensky, counsel with the Democracy Program.

Brennan Center resources on the citizenship question:

 
“There Is No Valid Justification for the Citizenship Question,” Wendy R. Weiser and Kelly Percival of the Brennan Center, SCOTUSblog, April 4, 2019

https://www.scotusblog.com/2019/04/symposium-there-is-no-valid-justification-for-the-citizenship-question/

Amicus Brief in Supreme Court’s Citizenship Question Case, April 1, 2019

https://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/legal-work/BrennanCenter_LeadershipConferenceOnCivilAndHumanRightsEtAl_AmicusBrief.pdf

“A Critical History of the U.S. Census & Citizenship Questions,” Thomas Wolf and Breanna Cea of the Brennan Center, Georgetown Law Journal, April 2019

https://georgetownlawjournal.org/articles/311/critical-history-of-united-states-citizenship-question/pdf

Annotated Guide to the Amicus Briefs in the Supreme Court’s Citizenship Question Case, Apr. 11, 2019
https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/annotated-guide-amicus-briefs-supreme-court’s-citizenship-question-cases

Litigation About the 2020 Census, May 9, 2019
https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/2020-census-litigation

Brennan Center Resources on Gerrymandering:

The Brennan Center’s Amicus Brief in Support of the Plaintiffs:https://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/legal-work/20190308175147173_1%20-%20Brennan_Center_Amicus_Brief_-_FINAL.pdf

Gerrymandering at the Supreme Courthttps://www.brennancenter.org/gerrymandering-scotus

50 State Guide to Redistrictinghttps://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/50-state-guide-redistricting

Five Ways H.R. 1 Would Transform Redistricting: https://www.brennancenter.org/blog/five-ways-hr-1-would-transform-redistricting

 

NOTE: The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that works to reform, revitalize – and when necessary, defend – our country's systems of democracy and justice.