Welcome to our In Brief series. In these posts and podcasts, we break down the key concepts in the day’s news and quickly explain why it matters to Californians.


Political Question Doctrine

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Gill v. Whitford, in which a three-judge district court held that in drawing the state’s voting lines after the 2000 census, the Wisconsin Legislature engaged in unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering.

California is one of the few states to delegate the task of district line-drawing to a commission independent of the state legislature.  The California Redistricting Commission (CRC) filed an amicus curiae brief in the Gill v. Whitford case which, according to its press release, “focuses on the viability of non-partisan criteria and independent redistricting processes as alternatives to partisan districting.”

You can see a preview of the arguments on SCOTUSblog by Amy Howe, and recaps of today’s oral arguments in the Los Angeles Times by David Savage or on SCOTUSblog by Amy Howe. You can also listen to my interview with Beth Ruyak on Capitol Public Radio’s Insight  where I give my overview of Gill v. Whitford as well as other cases on the Supreme Court’s docket for this term.

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