OneVirginia2021 statement on Ruchio v. Common Cause SCOTUS ruling
OneVirginia2021 Executive Director Brian Cannon released the following statement following the U.S. Supreme Court decision today in the Maryland and North Carolina partisan gerrymandering cases, Ruchio v. Common Cause.
“Today’s ruling is profoundly disappointing, as the court majority seems to have abdicated the federal judiciary’s role as arbiter of the Constitution. The decision makes it crystal clear that the Supreme Court’s judicial robes do not double as superhero capes when it comes to solving the problem of partisan gerrymandering. We citizens have to do it ourselves.
“Partisan gerrymandering has been a stain on our republic from the beginning, but has reached a crisis stage as technology supercharges the practice of drawing district maps that effectively rig elections. Election districts tailored to give one party an unfair advantage eliminate competition, contribute to partisan gridlock and turn the fundamental power of citizens fairly electing their representatives on its head.
“In this case that challenged both the Democrats’ gerrymander in Maryland and the Republicans’ gerrymander in North Carolina, we were hopeful that the Supreme Court would take the opportunity to outlaw the corrupt practice by which both parties work to undermine the will of the people. Unfortunately, the 5-4 decision ruled that partisan gerrymandering cases are outside of the purview of federal courts.
“Looking forward, we stand with reformers in Maryland, North Carolina and other states in pursuing meaningful reform at the state level.
“We remain committed to passing a Virginia Constitutional amendment to create Virginia’s first redistricting commission, which passed its first test in the General Assembly with broad bipartisan support this past February. If it is passed again in the 2020 General Assembly session, it would become the most significant legislation of its kind to ever pass a state legislature. From there, it must be approved by voters in November 2020.
“We are poised to end gerrymandering in Virginia once and for all. Looking beyond the disappointment, today’s decision by the Supreme Court only strengthens our resolve to finish the fight.”