BREAKING: On June 27, the US Supreme Court ruled that the federal judiciary cannot rein in partisan gerrymandering.
The US Supreme Court had the opportunity to end partisan gerrymandering once and for all but instead a narrow majority chose to wash their hands of any responsibility for stopping rigged elections.
Chief Justice John Roberts writing for the majority: “We conclude that partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts. Federal judges have no license to reallocate political power between the two major political parties, with no plausible grant of authority in the Constitution, and no legal standards to limit and direct their decisions.”
Justice Elena Kagan's dissent: "The partisan gerrymanders here debased and dishonored our democracy, turning upside-down the core American idea that all governmental power derives from the people."
Ohio is a step ahead
While the decision is both angering and incredibly sad, we here in Ohio are feeling grateful that we have already passed restrictions on gerrymandering for both the state legislature and US Congress. Because of the hard work of Fair Districts volunteers and advocates, we passed anti-gerrymandering legislation in 2015 and 2018. When district lines are redrawn in 2021, the divided communities and grotesque distortions of the current map will not be allowed.
Unfortunately, because of the SCOTUS decision announced today, Ohio will have to wait until 2022 for fairer district lines. Ohio voters reined in gerrymandering and new rules will be in place for both the state legislature and Congress. Unfortunately, a ruling from the Supreme Court that partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional would have strengthened our reforms and meant new maps in 2020 because of the challenge to Ohio's congressional gerrymander (APRI Ohio v. Householder).
Nevertheless, we still need to keep up the pressure on our legislators to let them know we are watching, and we demand Fair Maps!
READ THE DECISION