Partisan Gerrymandering Still a Threat to Communities of Color
Washington – Today the United States Supreme Court issued opinions in two partisan gerrymandering cases.Gill v. Whitford was remanded and Benisek v. Lamone will be allowed to go to trial. Advancement Project’s national office, a racial justice organization, issued the following statement:
“Partisan gerrymandering is about amassing power for the party in control of drawing districts at the expense of voters,” said Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project’s national office. “Often – as is the case with shuttering early-voting locations, imposing photo I.D. requirements and other suppressive tactics, gerrymandering is an intentional effort to maneuver the district lines in ways that limit the political voice of people of color. With today’s remand on Gill, comes another opportunity to drive home that our democracy should not be rigged by a powerful few.”
There are indications that the Court is concerned about the damage that extreme partisan gerrymandering does to our democracy. In previous instances, such as Advancement Project’s litigation against North Carolina’s monster voter suppression law, a federal court went so far as to say that racist intent behind the state’s suppressive measures led it to target African-Americans “with surgical precision.” We look forward to the day when the Supreme Court establishes clear standards on the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering.
Advancement Project is a multi-racial civil rights organization. Founded by a team of veteran civil rights lawyers in 1999, Advancement Project was created to develop and inspire community-based solutions based on the same high-quality legal analysis and public education campaigns that produced the landmark civil rights victories of earlier eras.