For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Christina Shupe
Director
Phone: 916-709-6303
Email address: christina.shupe@crc.ca.gov

California Citizens Redistricting Commission Files Friend-of-Court Brief in Major Redistricting Case
Sacramento, CA, September 12, 2017 - 

On September 5, 2017, the California Redistricting Commission (CRC) filed an amicus curiae brief in the United States Supreme Court in the case of Gill v. Whitford.  The CRC has a strong interest in this case because it addresses the fundamental proposition that redistricting can be done in a transparent and non-partisan manner,  provided that criteria such as those applied in  California by the CRC are followed.

The brief does not side with either Republicans or Democrats, nor does it take a position on whether partisan gerrymandering claims can be litigated under the federal constitution. Instead, the brief focuses on the viability of non-partisan criteria and independent redistricting processes as alternatives to partisan districting.
  
The California Commission consists of 14 members selected in an open and rigorous process designed to eliminate partisan bias and to reflect the political and social diversity of the state of California.  Five Democrats, five Republicans and four members belonging to neither of those parties engaged in a neutral, collaborative process which was open to public review and comment. By law, district lines could not be drawn to favor or discriminate against an incumbent or political party. The resulting districts included more open seats and closer races compared to previous years. 

As CRC Chair Jeanne E Raya noted, "The CRC is a clear example of  the best elements of independent redistricting as a remedy for partisan gerrymandering. Transparency ruled throughout the process, from commissioner selection to public engagement, to map drawing. The CRC's maps have been upheld by courts and lauded by academics. Most recently, the CRC was awarded the Harvard Kennedy School's Roy and Lila Ash Innovation Award for Public Engagement in Government. The CRC joined this brief to evidence our support of the principle that politicians should not choose their voters, but voters should have the opportunity to elect accountable representatives of their choice."


Additional Resources
  • A copy of the Commission's amicus can be found here: http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/16-1161-bsac-CA-citizens-redistricting.pdf
  • Video of CRC's final presentation to the Innovations Awards National Selection Committee is posted on our website


About California's Citizens Redistricting Commission
California's Citizens Redistricting Commission is a 14-member Commission charged with drawing California's Senate, Assembly, State Board of Equalization, and Congressional districts based on information gathered during the US Census. The Commission must draw the State Senate, Assembly, State Board of Equalization, and Congressional districts in conformity with strict, nonpartisan rules designed to create districts of relatively equal population that provide fair representation for all Californians.  

Citizens Redistricting Commission | (916) 709-6303 | christina.shupe@crc.ca.gov | wedrawthelines.ca.gov
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