Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

Representing the 1st District of Maine

Pingree Submits Bipartisan Amicus Brief To Supreme Court Calling For End to Extreme Partisan Gerrymandering

Sep 6, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) joined dozens of current and former Members of Congress in submitting an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court regarding a pending case before the High Court that could stop the undemocratic partisan gerrymandering of political districts.
 
“Government accountability is only possible when every vote counts. The integrity of our democracy relies on the ability of all voters to be heard, counted, and represented,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree of the amicus brief filed on Monday night. “I am proud to work across the aisle with so many current and former members of Congress, including Maine’s own Senator Snowe, to stop gerrymandering.”
  
“Extreme partisan gerrymandering harms our political system, and harms the functioning of the House in particular,” wrote the Members in the brief. “Extreme partisan gerrymandering is undemocratic, and cannot be reconciled with the Framers’ idea of a House of Representatives that would be directly accountable to the People through competitive and broad-based elections. Partisan gerrymandering makes it more difficult for Members to do the one job voters expect above all: delivering results for their constituents.”
 
The case before the Court, Gill v. Whitford, involves a group of Wisconsin voters who in 2015 challenged the Wisconsin state legislature’s 2011 redistricting map in federal court as an excessively partisan gerrymander barred by the Constitution. A lower court ruling last year found the map violated both the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause and the plaintiffs’ First Amendment freedom of association. This fall, the Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on the appeal to the lower court ruling.
 
In the brief, the Members point out that the Supreme Court explained in 2015: “[T]he core principle of republican government [is] that voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around.” When legislators’ draw districts that ignore traditional criteria such as representational fairness, natural geography, and cohesive communities of interest, in favor of pure partisan gain, the brief explains, that “core principle” is violated.
 
To read the full brief, click here.
 
The full list of signers to the amicus brief: 
Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.)
Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.)
Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa)
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.)
Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Penn.)
Fmr. Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.)
Fmr. Rep. Rod Chandler (R-Wash.)
Fmr. Rep. William Clinger (R-Penn.)
Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.)
Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.)
Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.)
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.)
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.)
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.)
Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D. Az.)
Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.)
Fmr. Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.)
Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.)
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio)
Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.)
Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.)
Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.)
Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Cal.)
Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Tex.)
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.)
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.)
Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine)
Rep. David Price (D-N.C.)
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.)
Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.)
Fmr. Rep. Claudine Schneider (R-R.I.)
Fmr. Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.)
Fmr. Rep. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)
Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.)
Fmr. Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.)