Washington, D.C. – Following Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decisions on partisan gerrymandering, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today introduced the Fair Maps Act of 2018. The legislation would prohibit partisan gerrymandering and provide standing to every eligible voter to challenge a gerrymandered map.
“Extreme partisan gerrymandering distorts the reciprocal relationship between citizens and their elected officials, which is the foundation of our self-governing democratic republic,” said Bennet. “Prohibiting this partisan practice is one of the most significant ways we can begin to fix our broken political system. This week’s Supreme Court decisions failed to answer important questions on gerrymandering that can only be resolved if voters have standing to challenge their state’s extremely partisan maps. This bill is the first step to enable citizens to regain control of their government.”
The Fair Maps Act of 2018 would prohibit partisan gerrymandering—the only federal legislation to do this explicitly—to ensure congressional districting plans result in fair, effective, and accountable representation for all people in the United States. To enforce this prohibition, the bill would provide standing to every eligible voter to challenge maps that unduly favor a particular political party. It also would provide guidance to courts and map-makers on how to fix gerrymandered maps.
“Senator Bennet’s bill offers a smart, comprehensive approach to ending the toxic effect extreme gerrymandering has on our democracy,” said Michael Li, Brennan Center for Justice Senior Counsel. “It would ensure that the rules for 2021’s congressional redistricting will for the first time be fair and uniform throughout the nation. The bill builds on growing bipartisan momentum in the states and the courts to end politicians’ gerrymandering abuses, and is a vital step to make sure that congressional maps benefit voters, not political parties.”
A summary of the bill is available HERE.