Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that he has joined a coalition of 17 other attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court in support of the voters of Wisconsin in Gill v Whitford.
The case stems from an appeal by the State of Wisconsin, challenging a 2016 decision that Wisconsin's redistricting plan was unconstitutional. In the brief, the attorneys general argue that extreme gerrymandering in redistricting harms fair elections in the United States.
"Fair elections are the backbone of our democracy, and Rhode Island has consistently pushed for election laws to ensure that all residents have every opportunity to vote and have their voices be heard. To allow gerrymandering based on partisan politics to interfere in how voting districts are drawn is egregious and severely erodes the public's faith in our election process," said Attorney General Kilmartin.
In the amicus brief, the Attorneys General write:
"Intentional partisan entrenchment—that is, deliberately drawing districts for the purpose of keeping one party in power for the long term, and without any neutral justification for the result—has no place in our political system. It discourages voter participation, increases distrust of government, and reduces the responsiveness of elected representatives. Technological advances have made it easier than ever for mapmakers to draw district lines solely to maximize the political power of a particular party."
The states that filed today's amicus brief include: Oregon, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.