Vieth v Jubelirer
Today, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal of the plaintiffs in Vieth v Jubelirer. Sam Hirsch of Jenner & Block (who represents the plaintiffs) provided the link to the Jurisdictional Statement and the Brief Opposing Motions to Affirm. If anyone has the Motions to Affirm, please send them to me.
The Questions Presented are:
1. Whether the District Court erred in effectively concluding that voters affiliated with a major political party may never state a claim of unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering, thereby nullifying this Court's decision in Davis v. Bandemer, 478 U.S. 109 (1986).
2. Whether a State presumptively violates the Equal Protection Clause when it subordinates all traditional, neutral districting principles to the overarching goal of drawing a congressional redistricting map that achieves maximum partisan advantage for members of one political party.
3. Whether a State exceeds its delegated power under Article I of the Constitution when it draws congressional-district boundaries to ensure that candidates from one political party will consistently capture a supermajority of the State's congressional seats even if those candidates win less than half the popular vote statewide.
The plaintiffs brought one-person-one-vote and gerrymander claims against the Congressional districting plan adopted by the GOP-majority Pennsylvania legislature. The federal court held that the population claims were sustained by a plan that has a variation of no more than 19 people from the norm. So the Legislature moved thousands of people to correct this minor deviation. The court essentially refused to hear the gerrymander claims. There were three opinions: 188 FSupp2d 532, 195 FSupp2d 672, and 241 FSupp2d 478. (My links are to the federal court's website.)