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Press Release

Brennan Center Statement on Supreme Court Decisions on Gerrymandering and Census Citizenship Question

Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice, issues a statement on the Supreme Court decisions on gerrymandering and census citizenship question.

June 27, 2019
MEDIA CONTACT: Mireya “Mia” Navarro, Mireya.Navar­, 646–925–8760
Michael Wald­man, pres­id­ent of the Bren­nan Center for Justice, issued the follow­ing state­ment:
"On the census, the Trump admin­is­tra­tion’s lies went so far that even this Supreme Court had to say no. If this leads to a result with no citizen­ship ques­tion, that would be a very welcome outcome, and it would also preserve the status quo. This should have been an easy case, and in the end, it was.
"But Chief Justice Roberts’ ruling that no federal court can ever consider claims of extreme and uncon­sti­tu­tional partisan gerry­man­der­ing is truly appalling for the long term health of our demo­cracy. It’s a judi­cial green light for egre­gious partis­an­ship, a permis­sion slip for politi­cians to entrench them­selves without fear of judi­cial inter­ven­tion. 
"The Consti­tu­tion is clear about what must happen now. We the people have the power to bar partisan gerry­man­der­ing. States and Congress can prevent it, and can create inde­pend­ent nonpar­tisan redis­trict­ing commis­sions. Voters enacted redis­trict­ing reform in five states last year. And the House of Repres­ent­at­ives passed a national ban on partisan gerry­man­der­ing and a require­ment for states to estab­lish inde­pend­ent panels as part of H.R. 1, the For the People Act. Time is of the essence.
“Fixing our demo­cracy now has been placed at the center of our polit­ics by a Supreme Court that saw an uncon­sti­tu­tional situ­ation and refused to do anything about it. It should be a topic at tonight’s debate, and all debates going forward.”
In addi­tion to Wald­man, the follow­ing Bren­nan Center experts are avail­able for comment: 
For the decision on the census ques­tion, Wendy R. Weiser, Vice Pres­id­ent for Demo­cracy, Kelly Percival, coun­sel with the Demo­cracy Program, and Thomas Wolf, coun­sel with the Demo­cracy Program.
For the decision on gerry­man­der­ing, Weiser, Wolf, Michael Li, senior coun­sel with the Demo­cracy Program and Yurij Rudensky, coun­sel with the Demo­cracy Program.
Bren­nan Center resources on the citizen­ship ques­tion:
“There Is No Valid Justi­fic­a­tion for the Citizen­ship Ques­tion,” Wendy R. Weiser and Kelly Percival of the Bren­nan Center, SCOTUS­b­log, April 4, 2019
Amicus Brief in Supreme Court’s Citizen­ship Ques­tion Case, April 1, 2019
“A Crit­ical History of the U.S. Census & Citizen­ship Ques­tions,” Thomas Wolf and Breanna Cea of the Bren­nan Center, Geor­getown Law Journal, April 2019
Annot­ated Guide to the Amicus Briefs in the Supreme Court’s Citizen­ship Ques­tion Case, Apr. 11, 2019
Litig­a­tion About the 2020 Census, May 9, 2019
Bren­nan Center Resources on Gerry­man­der­ing:
The Bren­nan Center’s Amicus Brief in Support of the Plaintiffs: https://www.bren­nan­cen­­nan_Center_Amicus_Brief_-_FINAL.pdf
Gerry­man­der­ing at the Supreme Court: https://www.bren­nan­cen­­man­der­ing-scotus
50 State Guide to Redis­trict­ing: https://www.bren­nan­cen­­trict­ing
Five Ways H.R. 1 Would Trans­form Redis­trict­ing: https://www.bren­nan­cen­­form-redis­trict­ing
The Bren­nan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpar­tisan law and policy insti­tute that works to reform, revital­ize – and when neces­sary, defend – our coun­try’s systems of demo­cracy and justice.