Briefs Offering Critiques of the Efficiency Gap

To help court-watchers sort through more than one thousand pages of amicus briefs in Gill v. Whitford, the Brennan Center has prepared an annotated guide breaking down each brief's most important arguments.

September 19, 2017

Brief of the National Republican Congressional Committee in Support of Appellants

Summary: This brief, filed by the National Republican Congressional Committee, aims to demonstrate the shortcomings of the “efficiency gap” metric for identifying unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering. The NRCC argues that the efficiency gap does not account for naturally-occurring bias resulting from political geography, that it fails to account for voters’ changing preferences, and that it would carve-up communities, creating bizarrely shaped districts. The NRCC and the law firm Holtzman Vogel Josefiak & Torchinsky are co-counsel for this brief.

Brief of the Majority Leader and Temporary President of the New York State Senate and Members of the Majority Coalition in Support of the Appellants

Summary: This brief, filed by Republican Senator John J. Flanagan and the New York State Senate’s Majority Coalition, argues that the efficiency gap and the standard endorsed by the district court fail to account for traditional redistricting principles and actual voting patterns, which are not determined solely by voters’ partisan affiliations. The law firm of Lewis and Fiore is counsel for this brief.

Brief of the Legacy Foundation in Support of Appellants

Summary: This brief, filed by the Legacy Foundation, argues that employing a statistical or mathematical metric, such as the “efficiency gap,” to measure unconstitutional partisan bias in redistricting will expose all redistricting throughout the country to judicial oversight, overturn our district-based electoral system, and impose a proportional representation requirement on map-makers. The law firm of Holtzman Vogel Josefiak & Torchinsky is counsel for this brief.

Brief of Judicial Watch, Inc. and Allied Educational Foundation in Support of Appellants

Summary: This brief, filed by Judicial Watch and Allied Educational Foundation, argues that the “efficiency gap” is a poor tool for identifying partisan gerrymanders. Judicial Watch is counsel for this brief.