Skip Navigation
Court Case Tracker

Annotated Guide to the Amicus Briefs

As the Supreme Court prepares to take up the question of partisan gerrymandering, over forty briefs have been filed by friends of the court.

Published: March 15, 2019

On March 26, the Supreme Court will hear argu­ments in two partisan gerry­man­der­ing lawsuits: Rucho v. Common Cause, a chal­lenge to North Caro­lin­a’s 2016 congres­sional map; and Lamone v. Benisek, a chal­lenge to Maryland’s 2011 congres­sional plan. Rucho and Benisek are two of the highest-profile cases for the Court’s 2018–19 term. Together, they offer the Court an oppor­tun­ity to finally place some mean­ing­ful limits on the worst abuses of our redis­trict­ing processes by estab­lish­ing a rule against extreme partisan gerry­man­der­ing.

Ahead of argu­ments, the Court received 43 amicus briefs from a diverse array of polit­ical scient­ists, histor­i­ans, law profess­ors, civil rights organ­iz­a­tions, good govern­ment groups, states, and elec­ted offi­cials—30 support­ing the plaintiffs (who won in the trial courts), ten briefs support­ing North Caro­lina and/or Mary­land, and three support­ing neither side.

To help you get up to speed, the Bren­nan Center prepared this annot­ated guide to the amicus briefs, which includes summar­ies of each brief’s most prom­in­ent or unique points. Briefs marked with a star (*) were filed in support of the states.

For more on these cases, visit our regu­larly updated pages for Rucho and Benisek, which include key filings or court rulings from all phases of the cases.

Briefs Provid­ing the Perspect­ives of Elec­ted Offi­cials from Both Parties on the Harms Created by Extreme Partisan Gerry­man­der­ing

Brief of Bipar­tisan Group of Current and Former Members of Congress in Support of the Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed by a bipar­tisan group of current and former members of Congress—­ex­plains how extreme partisan gerry­man­der­ing under­mines the func­tion­ing of the U.S. House of Repres­ent­at­ives. Among other things, the Members explain, gerry­man­der­ing makes comprom­ise polit­ic­ally impossible and stokes voter disen­chant­ment with—and disen­gage­ment from—the polit­ical process. The law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pick­er­ing Hale and Dorr LLP is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief for Governors Arnold Schwar­zeneg­ger and Larry Hogan in Support of the Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed by a former Repub­lican governor of Cali­for­nia and the current Repub­lican governor of Maryland—­con­tends that extreme partisan gerry­man­der­ing has the prac­tical effect of drown­ing out the voices of moder­ate voters and legis­lat­ors. The governors also argue that state legis­lat­ive redis­trict­ing conduc­ted by politi­cians produces either one-party rule or legis­lat­ive grid­lock. The law firm of Irell & Manella LLP is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Senator Shel­don White­house in Support of the Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed by Senator Shel­don White­house (D-RI)—warns that the Court’s fail­ure to estab­lish clear limits on partis­an­ship in redis­trict­ing has encour­aged politi­cians to gerry­mander and created another chan­nel for “dark money” and special interest groups to infilt­rate our polit­ics. Voters sense that their elec­tions have been fixed by special interests, Senator White­house asserts, and that has under­cut their respect for Amer­ican polit­ical insti­tu­tions. Senator White­house filed an earlier version of this brief with former Senator John McCain (R-AZ) in last term’s partisan gerry­man­der­ing case out of Wiscon­sin. The law firm of Coving­ton & Burl­ing LLP is coun­sel for this brief.

Briefs on the Neces­sity of Judi­cial Rules Against Partisan Gerry­man­der­ing

Brief of Polit­ical Science Profess­ors in Support of the Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed by 30 polit­ical science profess­ors who study voter beha­vior and redis­trict­ing tech­niques—draws on the results of the 2018 midterms and other recent wave elec­tions to show that partisan gerry­manders are no longer self-limit­ing, if they ever were. The profess­ors also warn 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 law firm of Reed Smith LLP is coun­sel for this brief.

*Brief of Repub­lican Members of the North Caro­lina Congres­sional Deleg­a­tion in Support of the State of North Caro­lina

This brief—which was filed by the sitting Repub­lican members of the North Caro­lina deleg­a­tion to the U.S. House­—ar­gues that judi­cial inter­ven­tion to fix gerry­manders is not neces­sary because Congress and the states can legis­late to regu­late the redis­trict­ing process and are, in fact, devel­op­ing such legis­la­tion now. It further argues that the federal courts lack the insti­tu­tional compet­ence to decide partisan gerry­man­der­ing claims. The law firm of Trout­man Sanders LLP is coun­sel for this brief.

Briefs Examin­ing Partisan Gerry­man­der­ing from a Histor­ical Perspect­ive

Brief of Histor­i­ans in Support of the Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed by a panel of 16 lead­ing histor­i­ans includ­ing Jack Rakove of Stan­ford Univer­sity, Alex­an­der Keyssar of Harvard Univer­sity, and Sean Wilentz of Prin­ceton University—ar­gues that partisan gerry­man­der­ing has been denounced through­out Amer­ican history as an uncon­sti­tu­tional abuse of power. As the histor­i­ans explain, the prac­tice of draw­ing maps to entrench one polit­ical party runs counter to the vision of “actual repres­ent­a­tion” that was funda­mental to the Framers’ vision for Amer­ican consti­tu­tional demo­cracy. The brief also explains how partisan gerry­man­der­ing is hostile to values reflec­ted in the First Amend­ment, the Four­teenth Amend­ment, and Article I of the Consti­tu­tion. The law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of the Consti­tu­tional Account­ab­il­ity Center in Support of the Plaintiffs

Filed by the Consti­tu­tional Account­ab­il­ity Center, this brief exam­ines the Consti­tu­tion’s text, struc­ture, and history—as well as the Supreme Court’s case law—to illu­min­ate how redis­trict­ing plans designed to entrench a party’s major­ity status viol­ate core consti­tu­tional values and prohib­i­tions.

*Brief of the Repub­lican National Commit­tee and National Repub­lican Congres­sional Commit­tee in Support of the State of North Caro­lina

This brief—which was filed by the Repub­lican National Commit­tee and National Repub­lican Congres­sional Commit­tee—ar­gues that the courts are ill-suited to decide redis­trict­ing cases given their histor­ical fail­ures to correctly identify when district lines have entrenched a party in power. The courts’ purpor­ted fail­ures, they contend, stem from the change­ab­il­ity of voters’ partisan pref­er­ences. The law firm of Holtz­man Vogel Jose­fiak Torch­in­sky PLLC, the Repub­lican National Commit­tee, and the National Repub­lican Congres­sional Commit­tee are co-coun­sel for this brief.

*Brief of the Public Interest Legal Found­a­tion in Support of the State of North Caro­lina

This brief—which was filed by the Public Interest Legal Found­a­tion—claims that the Four­teenth Amend­ment cannot govern partisan gerry­man­der­ing because its authors them­selves benefited from gerry­mandered districts. PILF further argues that the Founders gran­ted the power to regu­late elec­tion­s—in­clud­ing the draw­ing of district lines for congres­sional elec­tion­s—to the states. Consequently, courts would disrupt feder­al­ism if they began strik­ing down redis­trict­ing plans.

Briefs Explain­ing How to Create a Work­able Doctrinal Test for Partisan Gerry­man­der­ing

Brief of the Bren­nan Center for Justice at N.Y.U. School of Law in Support of the Plaintiffs

This brief from the Bren­nan Center for Justice provides the Court with advice for shap­ing its partisan gerry­man­der­ing stand­ard to focus on extreme partisan gerry­manders. The brief iden­ti­fies contex­tual clues in the redis­trict­ing process and the polit­ical land­scape—such as single-party control of mapmak­ing and irreg­u­lar­it­ies in the redis­trict­ing process—that can help courts accur­ately identify these kinds of gerry­manders. The law firm of O’Melveny & Myers and the Bren­nan Center are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of NAACP Legal Defense & Educa­tional Fund, Inc., Latino­Justice PRLDEF, Asian Amer­ic­ans Advan­cing Justice, Asian Amer­ican Legal Defense and Educa­tion Fund, Lambda Legal Defense and Educa­tion Fund, Inc., and the Lead­er­ship Confer­ence on Civil and Human Rights in Support of the Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educa­tion Fund in concert with several other prom­in­ent civil rights organ­iz­a­tion­s—­ex­plains the rami­fic­a­tions of partisan gerry­man­der­ing for minor­ity voters. The brief explains how a partisan gerry­man­der­ing claim that requires proof of invi­di­ous discrim­in­a­tion against voters based on their polit­ical party affil­i­ation would bene­fit minor­ity voters. Amici explain that this type of claim would not conflict with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act—in fact, it would help protect minor­ity voters from manip­u­la­tion and deter the “spillover effects” of litig­a­tion that uses race-based causes of action to attack polit­ical gerry­manders. NAACP LDF, Professor Justin Levitt of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, and the law firm of Kend­all Brill & Kelly LLP are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of the Amer­ican Civil Liber­ties Union, the New York Civil Liber­ties Union, ACLU of North Caro­lina, and ACLU of Mary­land in Support of the Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed by the ACLU and several of its state affil­i­ates—­ex­plains how redis­trict­ing schemes that inten­tion­ally entrench one party in power viol­ate the consti­tu­tional oblig­a­tion of govern­ment neut­ral­ity and, in the process, infringe on voters’ abil­ity to cast mean­ing­ful votes. The amici also provide guid­ance regard­ing evid­ence that may be probat­ive of uncon­sti­tu­tional intent and meth­ods that courts can employ to determ­ine when entrench­ment has occurred. The ACLU, its state affil­i­ates, and Samuel Issachar­off are co-coun­sel for the brief.

Brief of the Lawyers’ Commit­tee for Civil Rights Under Law in Support of the Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed by the Lawyers’ Commit­tee—­ex­plains how a rule against partisan gerry­man­der­ing would protect minor­ity voters. Among other things, such a ruling would bar partisan discrim­in­a­tion as a defense to redis­trict­ing plans that have the purpose or effect of disem­power­ing minor­ity voters. The brief urges the Court to adopt a flex­ible balan­cing test for eval­u­at­ing partisan gerry­man­der­ing claims similar to tests it has long used to assess other state elec­tion laws. The Lawyers’ Commit­tee and the law firms of Robin­son, Brad­shaw & Hinson, P.A. and Fish & Richard­son P.C. are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Profess­ors Chris­topher Elmen­d­orf, Joseph Fishkin, Bertrall Ross, Douglas Spen­cer, and Fran­ita Tolson in Support of the North Caro­lina Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed by five law profess­or­s—shows that the Court’s vote dilu­tion cases acknow­ledge a differ­ence between the harms that are neces­sary to grant a plaintiff stand­ing and the harms that vote dilu­tion law ulti­mately tries to prevent. As the brief explains, plaintiffs gener­ally must show that their partic­u­lar votes have been diluted to have stand­ing, but the vote dilu­tion cause of action ulti­mately tries to ensure that the entire legis­lature is respons­ive to voter senti­ment. As a result, the Court can take state-wide evid­ence into account when decid­ing whether plaintiffs have a winning claim. The law firm of Gilbert LLP is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Professor D. Theodore Rave III in Support of the North Caro­lina Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed by Professor Theodore Rave of the Univer­sity of Hous­ton Law Center­—ar­gues that legis­lat­ors breach their fidu­ciary duties to their constitu­ents when they draw districts that will entrench their posi­tion in the legis­lature. The brief draws on corpor­ate law to suggest ways in which courts could create incent­ives for legis­lat­ors to act in their constitu­ents’ best interest, includ­ing by creat­ing a safe harbor for redis­trict­ing plans drawn by inde­pend­ent commis­sions.

Briefs Explain­ing the First Amend­ment Harms Caused by Extreme Partisan Gerry­man­der­ing

Brief of First Amend­ment and Elec­tion Law Schol­ars in Support of the Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed by 11 law profess­ors who special­ize in elec­tion law and consti­tu­tional law—­ex­plains the threats that extreme partisan gerry­man­der­ing poses to voters’ First Amend­ment right of asso­ci­ation. Amici also urge the Court to apply strict scru­tiny to redis­trict­ing schemes that discrim­in­at­or­ily burden a polit­ical group’s abil­ity to influ­ence the elect­oral process by placing them at a signi­fic­ant statewide disad­vant­age. The law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Demo­cracy North Caro­lina and The People’s Alli­ance Fund in Support of the North Caro­lina Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed by two non-partisan nonprofits in North Caro­lina, Demo­cracy North Caro­lina and The People’s Alli­ance Fund You Can Vote program—nar­rates the effects of partisan gerry­man­der­ing on voters’ parti­cip­a­tion in the polit­ical process. Amici report a wide­spread percep­tion across the state that gerry­man­der­ing has rigged the polit­ical process and that voting or parti­cip­at­ing in polit­ics no longer matters. The brief also explains how gerry­man­der­ing in North Caro­lina has divided communit­ies and decreased politi­cians’ respons­ive­ness to their constitu­ents. The law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bart­lett LLP is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of the Floyd Abrams Insti­tute for Free­dom of Expres­sion in Support of the Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed by the Floyd Abrams Insti­tute for Free­dom of Expres­sion—ar­gues that partisan gerry­man­der­ing is a form of view­point discrim­in­a­tion that is forbid­den under the First Amend­ment. Exist­ing First Amend­ment doctrines such as strict scru­tiny, the Insti­tute contends, are suffi­cient to guide courts in poli­cing partisan gerry­manders. The law firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP and the Yale Law School’s Media Free­dom & Inform­a­tion Access Clinic are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of the First Amend­ment Clinic at Duke Law in Support of the North Caro­lina Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed by the First Amend­ment Clinic at Duke Law—ar­gues that North Caro­lin­a’s congres­sional map viol­ates First Amend­ment bars on view­point discrim­in­a­tion. The clinic also details North Caro­lin­a’s long history of polit­ic­ally motiv­ated redis­trict­ing and its attend­ant harms to voters’ rights and the state’s polit­ical envir­on­ment.

Brief of the Amer­ican Jewish Commit­tee in Support of the Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed by the Amer­ican Jewish Commit­tee—­ex­plains how extreme partisan gerry­man­der­ing viol­ates consti­tu­tional bans on state laws that inter­fere with asso­ci­ational rights, retali­ate against people for their polit­ical beliefs, or target people for disfavored treat­ment based on the view­points they express. The law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Whar­ton & Garrison LLP and the Amer­ican Jewish Commit­tee are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Colleagues of Professor Norman Dorsen in Support of the North Caro­lina Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed by ten legal schol­ars and prac­ti­tion­er­s—ar­gues that extreme partisan gerry­man­der­ing viol­ates the First Amend­ment’s equal­ity prin­ciple, degrades the qual­ity and quant­ity of elect­oral speech, and negates voters’ First Amend­ment rights to a mean­ing­ful vote. Professor Burt Neuborne of New York Univer­sity School of Law is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Stephen Shapiro in Support of the Mary­land Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed by one of the original plaintiffs in Benisek—con­tends that Maryland’s congres­sional gerry­mander viol­ates the First Amend­ment and that the Court should model its legal stand­ard for partisan gerry­man­der­ing claims after its stand­ard for racial gerry­man­der­ing claims. Stephen Shapiro and Professor Alan Morrison of the George Wash­ing­ton Univer­sity Law School are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Briefs Explain­ing How Partisan Gerry­man­der­ing Viol­ates Addi­tional Consti­tu­tional Values

Brief of Professor Michael Kang in Support of the Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed by Professor Michael Kang of North­west­ern Pritzker School of Law—­ex­plains that the Supreme Court has never held that partisan advant­age is a valid basis for govern­ment action, and that such advant­age cannot be a legit­im­ate basis for redis­trict­ing. The law firm of Davis Polk LLP is coun­sel for Professor Kang’s filing.

Brief of the Anti-Defam­a­tion League, County of Santa Clara, Demo­cracy 21, Demos, Friends of the Earth, Govern­ment Account­ab­il­ity Project, League of Women Voters, Mary­land Chapter, National Coun­cil of Jewish Women, National Feder­a­tion of Demo­cratic Women, North Caro­lina Justice Center, OneVir­gini­a2021, Virgini­ans for Fair Redis­trict­ing, and the South­ern Poverty Law Center in Support of the Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed by an array of good govern­ment groups, public policy organ­iz­a­tions, and govern­mental entit­ies—­ex­plains how extreme partisan gerry­man­der­ing under­mines core Amer­ican demo­cratic prin­ciples that origin­ated with the Framers. The brief also shows how the Court’s polit­ical ques­tion doctrine does not prevent it from adju­dic­at­ing partisan gerry­man­der­ing claims. The law firm of Lowen­stein Sand­ler LLP is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Stephen Shapiro in Support of the North Caro­lina Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed by one of the original plaintiffs in Benisek—argues that North Caro­lin­a’s congres­sional redis­trict­ing plan viol­ates Article I of the Consti­tu­tion because it “preselects” the party of each district’s congres­sional repres­ent­at­ive and subor­din­ates the redis­trict­ing process to the Repub­lican party’s goal of controlling Congress. Stephen Shapiro and Michael R. Geroe are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Robert Lee Stone, Jr. and John Harvard Lomax, Jr. in Support of the Mary­land Plaintiffs

This brief from two polit­ical scient­ists argues that Maryland’s map is uncon­sti­tu­tional under Article IV, Section IV of the U.S. Consti­tu­tion (the “Guar­an­tee Clause”). The law firm of Tydings & Rosen­berg LLP is coun­sel for this brief.

Briefs Discuss­ing the Role of Social Science in Partisan Gerry­man­der­ing Claims

Brief of Profess­ors Bern­ard Grof­man and Ronald Keith Gaddie in Support of Neither Party

This brief from polit­ical scient­ists Bern­ard Grof­man and Ronald Keith Gaddie proposes a test for uncon­sti­tu­tional partisan gerry­man­der­ing that requires plaintiffs to prove that the mapmakers (a) packed or cracked voters in partic­u­lar districts, (b) did so with invi­di­ous intent, and (c) thereby created a map that “persist­ently costs the party out of power at least one seat.” The brief outlines how vari­ous social science meas­ures make this test manage­able for the courts to use. The law firm of Orrick, Herring­ton & Sutcliffe LLP is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of 27 Elec­tion Law, Scientific Evid­ence, and Empir­ical Legal Schol­ars in Support of the North Caro­lina Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed by 27 legal schol­ars and polit­ical scient­ist­s—­ex­plains why the Court should exer­cise defer­ence in eval­u­at­ing the three-judge panel’s factual determ­in­a­tions regard­ing the discrim­in­at­ory intent and effects of the North Caro­lina gerry­mander, partic­u­larly to the extent that those determ­in­a­tions rely on social science evid­ence. The amici further explain why purpor­ted adher­ence to tradi­tional redis­trict­ing prin­ciples cannot provide a safe harbor from partisan gerry­man­der­ing claim­s—either in this case or more gener­ally—­given tech­no­lo­gical advances that allow mapmakers to create hyper-partisan maps even within the constraints that those prin­ciples impose. Professor Andrew Chin of the Univer­sity of North Caro­lina School of Law is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Professor Eric Lander in Support of the North Caro­lina Plaintiffs

This brief from Professor Eric Lander of the Broad Insti­tute explains how courts can use simu­lated redis­trict­ing applic­a­tions to identify extreme gerry­manders. As the brief shows, courts can easily find signals of extreme partisan gerry­man­der­ing by compar­ing the partisan outcomes of elec­tions under enacted maps to the expec­ted outcomes produced by a range of simu­la­tions. The law firm of Smith Duggan Buell & Rufo is coun­sel for this brief. 

Brief of Profess­ors Wesley Pegden, Jonathan Rodden, and Samuel Wang in Support of the North Caro­lina Plaintiffs

This brief from profess­ors Wesley Pegden, Jonathan Rodden, and Samuel Wang provides an over­view of the suite of quant­it­at­ive tools avail­able to assess partisan gerry­man­der­ing. The brief also demon­strates that North Caro­lin­a’s 2016 congres­sional plan is a partisan gerry­mander when analyzed with a vari­ety of these tools. The law firm of Sidley Austin LLP is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Math­em­aticians, Law Profess­ors, and Students in Support of the Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed on behalf of a group of math­em­aticians, law profess­ors, and law student­s—of­fers both a legal stand­ard and a math­em­at­ical approach for eval­u­at­ing gerry­man­der­ing claims that are based on the concept of partisan vote dilu­tion. Accord­ing to the amici, this math­em­at­ical approach—which iden­ti­fies maps that are extreme outliers under any of a number of differ­ent metric­s—­would allow the courts to reli­ably flag gerry­manders even when mapmakers have not made their partisan intent expli­cit. The law firm of Gupta Wessler PLLC and Professor Guy-Uriel Charles are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Judi­cial Watch, Inc. and Allied Educa­tional Found­a­tion in Support of Neither Party

This brief—which was filed by Judi­cial Watch, Inc. and the Allied Educa­tional Found­a­tion—warns of legal stand­ards that incor­por­ate social science evid­ence because such stand­ards run the risk of requir­ing propor­tional repres­ent­a­tion in redis­trict­ing. The brief also argues that “tradi­tional redis­trict­ing criteria,” such as compact­ness and conti­gu­ity, are the only reli­able legal guide­posts for poli­cing partisan gerry­man­der­ing. Judi­cial Watch, Inc. is coun­sel for this brief.

Briefs on the Justi­ciab­il­ity of Partisan Gerry­man­der­ing Claims

Brief of Profess­ors Michael Dorf, Joshua Sellers, Andrew Siegel, and Joseph Thai in Support of the Mary­land Plaintiffs

This brief from consti­tu­tional schol­ars explains that both Article I and the Four­teenth Amend­ment of the U.S. Consti­tu­tion permit the federal courts to place limits on redis­trict­ing. They further show how both the First Amend­ment and the Due Process Clause of the Four­teenth Amend­ment bar prac­tices like partisan gerry­man­der­ing that discrim­in­ate against voters on the basis of their polit­ical affil­i­ation. They recom­mend that the Court apply the same legal stand­ard to partisan gerry­man­der­ing claims that it applies to racial gerry­man­der­ing claims. The law firm of King & Spald­ing LLP is coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of the States of Oregon, Cali­for­nia, Color­ado, Connecti­cut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachu­setts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missis­sippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wash­ing­ton, and the District of Columbia in Support of the North Caro­lina Plaintiffs

This brief—which was filed by twenty-one states and the District of Columbi­a—ad­voc­ates for a purpose-and-effects test for partisan gerry­man­der­ing claims that focuses on attempts by one party to entrench itself in power. The states argue that this test is manage­able and adequately accounts for the states’ legit­im­ate interests in shap­ing their own elect­oral maps. Ellen F. Rosen­blum, Attor­ney General of Oregon, and Benjamin Gutman, Soli­citor General of Oregon, are co-coun­sel for this brief, lead­ing a panel of state Attor­neys General.

*Brief of Speaker Michael Turzai in Support of the State of North Caro­lina

This brief—which was filed by Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Michael Turzai—ar­gues that the Elec­tions Clause does not permit federal courts to strike down maps on polit­ical fair­ness grounds. The brief also warns that judi­cial involve­ment in redis­trict­ing will erode the separ­a­tion of powers and politi­cize the courts. The law firms of Baker & Hostetler LLP and Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP are co-coun­sel for this brief.

*Brief of the States of Texas, Alabama, Arkan­sas, Geor­gia, Indi­ana, Louisi­ana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Caro­lina, and Utah in Support of the State of North Caro­lina

This brief on behalf of ten states flags the import­ance of courts main­tain­ing the normal presump­tion of consti­tu­tion­al­ity and good faith for govern­ment actions when they eval­u­ate legis­lat­ive intent in partisan gerry­man­der­ing cases.  The states further contend that partisan purposes are inher­ent in legis­lat­ive decisions and that these purposes are neither “invi­di­ous,” nor “irra­tional” under the Four­teenth Amend­ment. The Texas Soli­citor General Kyle D. Hawkins is coun­sel for this brief.

*Brief of the National Repub­lican Redis­trict­ing Trust in Support of the State of North Caro­lina

This brief from the National Repub­lican Redis­trict­ing Trust warns the Court against adopt­ing a rule requir­ing propor­tional repres­ent­a­tion, which amici argue is funda­ment­ally at odds with tradi­tional redis­trict­ing prin­ciples. The law firm of Graves Garrett LLC is coun­sel for this brief.

*Brief of the Wiscon­sin State Senate and Wiscon­sin State Assembly in Support of the States of North Caro­lina and Mary­land

This brief—which was filed by the Wiscon­sin State Senate and State Assembly— contends that partisan gerry­man­der­ing claims are non-justi­ciable because the degree of partisan influ­ence over district lines in a given map cannot be meas­ured. It also warns that a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs will lead to the elim­in­a­tion of “territ­orial redis­trict­ing.” The law firms of Bart­lit Beck LLP and Bell Giftos St. John LLP are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Briefs Provid­ing Other Legal or Factual Context

Brief of the Inter­na­tional Muni­cipal Lawyers Asso­ci­ation, National League of Cities, U.S. Confer­ence of Mayors, and the Inter­na­tional City/County Manage­ment Asso­ci­ation in Support of the Plaintiffs

This brief from organ­iz­a­tions that repres­ent local communit­ies—in­clud­ing cities, counties, and town­s—ar­gues that partisan gerry­man­der­ing disrupts the repres­ent­a­tion of communit­ies in legis­lat­ive bodies and stifles local decision-making. It urges the Court to set clear stand­ards for redis­trict­ing to guide mapping decisions at the local level. The Inter­na­tional Muni­cipal Lawyers Asso­ci­ation and G. Michael Parsons, Jr. are co-coun­sel for this brief.

Brief of Professor David Orent­licher in Support of Neither Party

This brief from Professor David Orent­licher of the UNLV Boyd School of Law stresses the import­ance of the court adju­dic­at­ing partisan gerry­man­der­ing cases in an “ideo­lo­gic­ally-balanced” way and encour­ages the Court to issue only unan­im­ous rulings.

*Brief of Congress­man David Trone in Support of the State of Mary­land

This brief—which was filed by Congress­man David Trone, the current repres­ent­at­ive for Maryland’s Sixth Congres­sional District—ar­gues that districts that are, among other things, reas­on­ably compact, cohes­ive, and compet­it­ive should not be subject to gerry­man­der­ing chal­lenges—even if those districts were drawn with the intent to change the district repres­ent­at­ive’s partisan affil­i­ation. Under these stand­ards, Congress­man Trone contends, Maryland’s Sixth District is not an uncon­sti­tu­tional partisan gerry­mander. The law firm Zuck­er­man Spaeder LLP is coun­sel for this brief.

*Brief of Repres­ent­at­ive Carl Isett in Support of the State of North Caro­lina

This brief from a former member of Texas House of Repres­ent­at­ives argues that tradi­tional redis­trict­ing prin­ciples place a suffi­cient limit on partisan gerry­man­der­ing. Comply­ing with such prin­ciples, the brief contends, should provide a safe harbor from any partisan gerry­man­der­ing claims. Nixon Law Firm, P.C. and Trainor Law Firm, P.C. are co-coun­sel for this brief.

*Brief of the Amer­ican Civil Rights Union and South­east­ern Legal Found­a­tion in Support of the State of North Caro­lina

This brief—which was filed by the Amer­ican Civil Rights Union and South­east­ern Legal Found­a­tion—­con­tends that the First Amend­ment should not and cannot provide a basis for partisan gerry­man­der­ing claims, because, among other things, that amend­ment does not address voting. The brief also argues that the plaintiffs’ alleged harms are too general to grant them access to the federal courts. John J. Park, Jr. and the South­east­ern Legal Found­a­tion are co-coun­sel for this brief.