Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case out of Wisconsin that could be the most important redistricting case in decades. In past cases, the Supreme Court has not found a workable standard for measuring gerrymandering. But a federal court in Wisconsin ruled that a new measure of gerrymandering could be the workable standard that the Supreme Court has found lacking in the past. The judges noted that the legislature’s maps would ensure the Republican Party’s control over the legislature “under any likely future electoral scenario” until the next redistricting cycle. The case could lead to fairer congressional districts in states including Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, Texas, and Florida. Liz Kennedy, the director of democracy and government reform at the Center for American Progress, said:
Voting is the fundamental way citizens in a democracy have control over their elected representatives, and thus over the public policies that shape their lives. Americans deserve fair representation, but extreme partisan and racial gerrymanders distort election districts and public policy outcomes. Americans are tired of having their voting power manipulated by politicians who draw district maps to further their own interests. The Supreme Court has the chance to right this wrong and stop extreme partisan gerrymanders that discriminate against voters so that elected representatives are responsive and accountable to people.
Michele Jawando, the vice president of legal progress at CAP, added:
This case gives the Supreme Court the chance to correct a glaring problem with our democracy. In so many states, conservative legislators have drawn maps that will keep them in power—no matter what the voters say. This results in politicians who are not accountable to their constituents and who do not have the same priorities as most voters. The Wisconsin case has the potential to put a stop to unfair gerrymandering and ensure that voters can choose their representatives instead of politicians choosing their voters.
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