June 27, 2019
Denver, CO – Today, the United States Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision declining to set parameters on partisan gerrymandering. Facing the question whether the practice of gerrymandering legislative and congressional districts violates the Constitution, the majority opinion acknowledged the politically charged nature of gerrymandering, but stated that “partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts.” In response, Majority Leader Fenberg released the following statement:
“Gerrymandering is a poison pill to our nation’s democracy. As long as legislatures across the country continue to unfairly draw maps for their party’s political gain, we can not have true democratic representation,” said Majority Leader Steve Fenberg. “The political gamesmanship that legislatures are engaged in only disenfranchises voters, increases toxic political partisanship, and prohibits every citizen from having an equal voice in their government. I am proud to have led the effort in Colorado to eliminate gerrymandering in our state once and for all. In Colorado, we know that partisan politics shouldn’t outweigh the necessity to create fair district maps. I hope that in light of this unfortunate decision, more states will follow our lead, by putting politics behind them and prohibiting the practice of political gerrymandering.”
Majority Leader Fenberg was a key architect of Colorado’s effort to end gerrymandering. He sponsored Senate Concurrent Resolution 18-004, along with former President Kevin Grantham, former Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran, and House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, to place constitutional amendments Y & Z on the ballot last November. Together, the amendments prohibit gerrymandering by establishing independent redistricting commissions to create fair and competitive congressional and legislative districts. Both amendments passed with over 70% of the vote.