On January 30, the Illinois League of Women Voters asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear League of Women Voters of Illinois v Quinn. The issue is whether partisan gerrymandering violates the free speech portion of the First Amendment. Here is the League’s filing with the U.S. Supreme Court.
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to rule that partisan gerrymandering violates the Equal Protection part of the Fourteenth amendment, but this is the first case to argue that putting voters in a particular district based on their party membership violates the First Amendment. The League says that putting voters into certain districts based on their party membership makes it less likely that voters will hear certain kinds of speech. The First Amendment protects the ability to hear speech as well as the ability to speak.
The case doesn’t have a docket number in the U.S. Supreme Court yet. A 3-judge U.S. District Court in Illinois had rejected the case last year. The League had then asked for reconsideration on November 10, 2011, but the 3-judge court rejected that only six days later. Thanks to Rick Hasen for this news.