Righter on Gill v. Whitford: 'Ramifications could be enormous'
Dozens of former and current legislators from eight states are working to ban political gerrymandering in Illinois and across the country.
Gill v. Whitford, a Wisconsin case before the U.S. Supreme Court, seeks to determine whether redistricting done in 2011 by state Republicans violated the First and 14th amendments protecting voters. The case was argued before the justices Oct. 3.
Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon), who made arguments in an amicus curiae brief filed in the Supreme Court with other legislators, told the East Central Reporter the importance of ending the practice.
Q: How important is the outcome in Gill v Whitford? What would it mean for Illinois?
A. The outcome of the case could be important for Illinois, depending upon the decision that eventually is made and the basis for that decision. For example, the emphasis on preserving a political majority; if the Supreme Court finds that intention/goal to be the basis of unconstitutionality, the ramifications could be enormous.
Q: Why do you think gerrymandering has been allowed to go on for so long in Illinois and other states?
A: Because the political leaders in Illinois, once they have been able to seize control, have focused their efforts on maintaining that control, including blocking efforts to reform the redistricting system.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
A: Illinois needs a non-partisan system of redistricting that includes the use of technology and prohibiting the legislature from amending any proposed map from an independent redistricting commission.