Supreme Court Places Responsibility on the States to Rein in Partisan Gerrymandering

Press Release – June 27, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, MD – In a ruling today the Supreme Court of the United States put the power to fix gerrymandering in the hands of the states, and the League of Women Voters of Maryland will be leading the charge to ensure Maryland enacts a redistricting process that will lead to fair maps in the 2021 redistricting cycle. In a 5-4 decision, in Benisek v. Lamone out of Maryland’s 6th Congressional district, alongside two consolidated cases out of North Carolina, Rucho v. League of Women Voters and Rucho v. Common Cause, the Court ruled that partisan gerrymandering is not justiciable by the courts.

“As a resident of Maryland’s 6th district, it is a disappointment that the court has opted not to re-enfranchise voters here, but as a leader in the state I will work tirelessly to ensure our state legislators put an end to this undemocratic practice in 2020,” co-president of the state League, Richard Willson declared.

The Maryland League has worked for many years to raise awareness of this thorn in democracy’s side and has taken an active role in efforts to end the practice of partisan gerrymandering and raise public awareness of the problem. The League signed on in amicus with the Benisek and Rucho cases before the court and the League’s state director, Ashley Oleson, served on the Governor’s commission to redraw district 6 pursuant to the U.S. District Court’s order. She commented, “I hope that legislators in the state will now see that it is up to them to right this wrong. The public is depending on them to fortify our democratic system against current and future actors who seek to chip away at it.”

In Maryland, the League will continue to work with advocates and partners in the Tame the Gerrymander coalition throughout the state for Fair Maps in 2020. We will also continue to support the work of Leagues all over the nation who are pushing for redistricting process that will elevate the voices of the people over partisan political games.

 

For More Info Contact:

Ashley Oleson, LWVMD State Director – 410-269-0232, aoleson@lwvmd.org