Poll: Overwhelming support for high court to limit lawmakers’ ability to create partisan voting maps
Weeks ahead of oral arguments in a Supreme Court case over Wisconsin’s voting maps, a new poll shows 71 percent of Americans want limits on lawmakers’ ability to manipulate districts to benefit their political party.
The bipartisan poll — a survey of 1,000 people likely to vote in the 2018 general election — was conducted by Lake Research Partners and WPA Intelligence in August.
LRP’s report said 80 percent of Democrats want the Supreme Court to place limits on partisan gerrymandering, along with 68 percent of independents and 65 percent of Republicans.
“Americans trust the Supreme Court to rein in partisan gerrymandering and want the court to act,” said LRP president Celinda Lake. “Voters are deeply concerned about politicians manipulating voting maps to serve their own political advantage and are looking for a solution.”
The survey was conducted on behalf of the Campaign Legal Center and, according to Paul Smith — the group’s vice president of litigation and strategy, the results underscore “the notion that voters overwhelmingly expect free and fair elections for choosing their representatives.”
“Freely choosing their representatives is an issue of deep principle for voters
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Check in Oct. 3 at wisconsingazette. com for coverage of the oral arguments, including our guide to Gill v. Whitford. of all political stripes,” Republican pollster Ashlee Rich Stephenson of WPA Intelligence stated in a news release.
She added, “Our poll shows that a Supreme Court decision limiting extreme partisan redistricting will be very wellreceived by the American electorate.”
WISCONSIN’S ‘AGGRESSIVE PARTISAN GERRYMANDER’
The election map case before the justices is Gill v. Whitford and oral arguments are set for Oct. 3.
The dispute is over Wisconsin’s state Assembly redistricting plan, created in secret and adopted by the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2011.
After a four-day trial, a federal district court ruled the plan was “an aggressive partisan gerrymander” that locked a GOP majority into the state Assembly under “any likely electoral scenario.”
Last November, a panel of three federal judges declared the plan an unconstitutional gerrymander in violation of the First Amendment and Equal Protection Clause.
Wisconsin filed its appeal with the Supreme Court in February.
The legal challenge to the plan was brought by 12 voters — Bill Whitford’s name topped the complaint — against the state of Wisconsin.
The legal team representing the plaintiffs in Gill includes the Campaign Legal Center and co-counsel Douglas M. Poland of Rathje & Woodward, Peter G. Earle, Michele L. Odorizzi of Mayer Brown, Nicholas O. Stephanopoulos of the University of Chicago Law School, and Jessica R. Amunson of Jenner & Block.