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Briefs Explaining the Practical Harms of Partisan Gerrymandering

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 Political Science Professors as Amici Curiae in Support of Appellees

Summary: This brief, filed by political scientists who study voter behavior and redistricting techniques, warns the Court that developments in mapping technology and voter data will permit mapmakers to create redistricting plans that are even more durably biased than the ones made in prior redistricting cycles. The political scientists also describe the extensive scholarly literature demonstrating the fundamental stability of voters’ partisan affiliations and the increasing predictability of partisan behavior, two facts that are key to mapmakers’ ability to gerrymander. The law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison is counsel for this brief.

Brief of League of Conservation Voters et al. in Support of Appellees

Summary: This brief, filed by organizations and individuals affected by the gerrymander in Wisconsin, describes recent political science research linking increasingly partisan redistricting with more partisan, extreme policymaking. The brief also provides case studies designed to show how the Wisconsin gerrymander has enabled the Republican legislative majority to pursue a policy agenda more extreme than the median Wisconsin voter would support. The law firms Hogan Lovells and Pines Bach are co-counsel for this brief.

Brief of International Municipal Lawyers Association, National League of Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors, International City/County Managment Association, and Local Government Law Professors in Support of Appellees

Summary: This brief, filed by organizations and individuals dedicated to local government issues, warns that partisan gerrymandering has resulted in state legislatures engaging in increasingly aggressive preemption of local lawmaking. The International Municipal Lawyers Association, Professor Nestor Davidson of the Fordham University School of Law, and Professor Paul A. Diller of the Willamette University College of Law are co-counsel for this brief.

Brief for Center for Media and Democracy in Support of Appellees

Summary: This brief, filed by the Center for Media and Democracy, rebuts the Appellants’ description of Wisconsin’s decennial redistricting as a “policy-driven” process. As the amici explain, the process was in fact driven by the self-interest and partisan agenda of the Republican legislative majority. The law firms Hoover, Hull, Turner and Faegre, Baker, Daniels are co-counsel for this brief.