Briefs Providing Additional Factual and Legal Context

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 Plaintiffs in the Maryland Redistricting Litigation, Benisek v. Lamone (Formerly Shapiro v. McManus), Supporting Neither Party

Summary: This brief, filed by the plaintiffs in a concurrent partisan-gerrymandering lawsuit in Maryland, urges the Court not to issue a ruling in Whitford declaring partisan gerrymandering claims categorically non-justiciable. The amici contend that single-district partisan-gerrymandering claims are justiciable under First Amendment retaliation doctrine. The law firm Mayer Brown is counsel for this brief.

Brief of Common Cause in Support of Appellees

Summary: This brief, filed by Common Cause, highlights differences between the facts, evidence, and legal theories at play in Whitford and those in Common Cause’s concurrent challenge to North Carolina’s 2016 remedial congressional map, Common Cause v. Rucho. Common Cause advises the Court that declaring partisan-gerrymandering claims categorically non-justiciable would be problematic for democratic governance. The law firms Paterson Belknap, Bondurant Mixson & Elmore, and Poyner Spruill are co-counsel for this brief.

Brief of 44 Election Law, Scientific Evidence, and Empirical Legal Scholars in Support of Appellees

Summary: This brief, filed by forty-four scholars specializing in election law, scientific evidence and empirical legal methods, explains why the Court should (a) exercise deference in evaluating the three-judge panel's factual determinations regarding the discriminatory effects of Wisconsin's gerrymandering, and (b) affirm the panel's determination that the partisan effects of the gerrymander were not justifiable. Professor Andrew Chin of the University of North Carolina School of Law is counsel for this brief.

Brief of FairVote and One Nation One Vote in Support of Appellees

Summary: This brief, filed by FairVote and One Nation One Vote, explains alternative voting systems and redistricting methods that states could implement to mitigate or eliminate the threat of partisan gerrymandering. Fair Vote and the law firm Susman Godfrey are co-counsel for this brief.

Brief for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce in Support of Appellants

Summary: This brief, filed by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, argues that Appellees’ theory of their case is conceptually and legally flawed because it fails to account for the uniqueness of individual voters and the many factors, beyond partisan affiliation, that amicus claims influence voters’ choices. The law firm Husch Blackwell is counsel for this brief.