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Supreme Court’s Evenwel Decision Reaffirms Total Population as Basis for Redistricting

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court endorsed the current practice of drawing district lines based on the total number of people who live in a state legislative district in Evenwel v. Abbott. Opponents had argued that redistricting should be based solely on the number of voters in a district.

“This was a critical case because a contrary decision would have required massive redistricting in the states and changed the basic political system in our country," said Elisabeth MacNamara, president of the League of Women Voters of the U.S. "Today we can breathe a bit easier that the Court has not taken a step backwards."

The League submitted an amicus brief in Evenwel that supported the current practice of drawing district lines based on population counts.

“This is an 8-0 decision that reinforces basic constitutional principles and previous holdings by the Supreme Court,” MacNamara said. “This is a big win. It is the best we could have reasonably hoped for,” according to MacNamara.

“The Court recognized that changing the criteria for how we establish legislative districts in the states would not only have far reaching impacts on representation and geographic distribution of power, but it would put many states in limbo for years to come," MacNamara said.

“The League of Women Voters is working across the country to reform the redistricting process so that we can fulfill the promise of a fully representative democracy that reflects the rich diversity of our country,” concluded MacNamara.

Contact: Kelly Ceballos, 202-263-1331 or [email protected].