Judicial Watch Joins Allied Educational Foundation in Asking Supreme Court to Reject Novel Gerrymandering Claim
Urges High Court to Overturn Lower Court’s Use of Arbitrary Method of Drawing Wisconsin’s Electoral Districts
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced it joined with the Allied Educational Foundation (AEF) in filing an additional amici curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to convince the high court to reject the arbitrary method of drawing Wisconsin’s electoral districts adopted in Beverly R. Gill, et al. v. William Whitford, et al. (No. 16-1161). The lower court struck down Wisconsin’s 2011 redistricting plan on the grounds that it was an unconstitutional gerrymander. Judicial Watch asked the high court to take up the case and overturn that ruling.
Judicial Watch and AEF argued in their joint brief against the ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. That ruling relied in part on the use of a test for gerrymandering known as the “the efficiency gap,” which focuses on a purely hypothetical estimate of what each party “should” win in a “fair” election.
Judicial Watch and AEF point out that the test amounts, in practice, to court-ordered proportional representation, and that this will not prevent gerrymandering:
After all, it is not the case that any deviation from the strict proportional representation of voters by party is suspicious.
[P]roportional representation has nothing to do with preventing gerrymandering. Deviations from proportional representation, however defined, may occur for any number of reasons other than gerrymandering, including the political views or missteps or personal qualities of the candidates of one of the parties. The absence of proportional representation does not uniquely identify gerrymanders. In any event, proportional representation is not required by the Constitution.
“The district court uses a purely arbitrary method of drawing Wisconsin’s electoral districts,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “We urge the court to overturn the district court’s fatally flawed ruling.”
Judicial Watch filed an earlier amici brief in this case.
The Allied Educational Foundation is a charitable and educational foundation dedicated to improving the quality of life through education. In furtherance of that goal, the Foundation has engaged in a number of projects, which include, but are not limited to, educational and health conferences domestically and abroad. AEF has partnered frequently with Judicial Watch to fight government and judicial corruption and to promote a return to ethics and morality in the nation’s public life.