SCOTUS Decision on Gerrymandering & the Census

It’s “old news” now, but the US Supreme Court recently issued decisions in two important cases regarding voting rights and democracy.

The good news is that the court struck down the Trump administration’s plans to include a citizenship question on the 2020 US census which would have almost certainly resulted in a significant under-count of Hispanics and other immigrants and, consequently, adversely impacted the Congressional representation of states with significant Hispanic and immigrant populations as well as reducing federal funding for states, counties, and cities with significant immigrant populations.

The bad news is that the court (in a 5-4 decision) held in a case filed by North Carolina voters (Rucho v. Common Cause) that federal courts do not have the authority to address questions involving partisan (as opposed to racial) gerrymandering.

The good news, though, is that

  • Congress, state legislature, and state courts do have power to end partisan gerrymandering;
  • a case challenging partisan gerrymandering (Common Cause v. Lewis) is scheduled for hearing in Wake County Superior Court on July 15th (one of the individual plaintiffs challenging partisan gerrymandering in Common Cause v. Lewis case is a Unitarian Universalist) and the North Carolina Supreme Court may be much more inclined to hold that partisan gerrymandering violates the North Carolina Constitution; and
  • several bi-partisan proposals have been introduced to eliminate partisan gerrymandering in North Carolina.

The fight to end racial and partisan gerrymandering isn’t over!

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