Lowenstein Sandler authored and filed an amicus brief on behalf of 12 amici curiae, including nonprofit organizations and a county government, in two high-profile cases being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court: Rucho v. Common Cause and Lamone v. Benisek.
These cases challenge the federal congressional redistricting plans in North Carolina and Maryland that were drawn for what all parties agree are partisan goals intended to give an advantage to Republicans (in the North Carolina case) or Democrats (in the Maryland case). The parties have argued that this partisan gerrymandering violates the First Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, and Article I, sections 2 and 4 (the Elections Clause), of the U.S. Constitution.
The Lowenstein brief argues that election manipulation through partisan gerrymandering violates fundamental American democratic principles of representativeness and accountability in government. It argues that claims of political gerrymandering are not barred by the “political question” doctrine, that the Court can develop judicially manageable standards to adjudicate these claims, and that judicial inaction could damage the status and integrity of the Court. The Court can exercise its jurisdiction and set standards, the brief argues, “not because the Courts have a right to interfere with elections, but because they have a duty to protect elections from interference.”
The firm filed on behalf of the following 12 amici organizations:
- Democracy 21
- Friends of the Earth
- The Anti-Defamation League
- The County of Santa Clara
- The Government Accountability Project
- The League of Women Voters, Maryland Chapter
- The National Council of Jewish Women
- The National Federation of Democratic Women
- The North Carolina Justice Center
- The Southern Poverty Law Center
Oral arguments at the Court are scheduled for March 26, 2019.