LANSING — The United States Supreme Court issued its opinions in Rucho v. Common Cause today, ruling partisan gerrymandering to be a political question, “beyond the reach of the federal courts.” The 5-4 decision — with Justices Kagan, Ginsburg, Breyer and Sotomayor dissenting — leaves voters with little or no recourse in the face of district maps drawn to unfairly advantage one political party.
“The right to vote is both the bedrock principle of our country and the source of the people’s trust in their elected officials,” said House Democratic Leader Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills). “The Court had a significant opportunity today to help put a stop to the damage caused by political gerrymandering, but chose instead to reject their most important responsibility. This decision shows us the importance of fully committing ourselves to implementing the voter-approved measures that would provide greater access to voting and put the redistricting process in the hands of the people. The fight for fair elections is far from over and today’s ruling only means we have a tougher fight ahead of us, but it’s a fight we’re ready for.”
Rucho v. Common Cause was one of three gerrymandering cases before the Court this term, dealing with redistricting in North Carolina, Maryland, and Virginia.
“It’s no secret that our legislative districts have been rigged for years to silence the voices of Michiganders in communities throughout our state,” said state Rep. Vanessa Guerra (D-Saginaw). “The Court’s decision today fails to uphold the simple truth that every American has the right to pick their representatives, instead of elected officials rigging the system to pick who they can serve. Yet regardless of the Court’s determination, the people of Michigan are counting on us to ensure that elections are both free and fair, and it’s vital that we continue to the fight against those who would abuse our system for partisan gain.”