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Sen. McConnaughay joins bipartisan effort to end gerrymandering of political map

In an effort to ensure true democracy for Illinoisans, State Senator Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles) joined a bipartisan coalition of 65 lawmakers from eight states in support of an Amicus Curie brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court this week, which urges the Supreme Court to end the practice of political gerrymandering.

McConnaughay and the bipartisan group of current and former lawmakers made their argument as amici in Gill v Whitford, a redistricting case in which a U.S. District court found that the State of Wisconsin used partisan gerrymandering to create the state’s legislative district map, violating protections given to voters by the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The case will be argued before the Supreme Court on October 3, 2017.

“It is of the utmost importance that the democratic process is not manipulated. Partisan gerrymandering of legislative districts for the purpose of maintaining political power and shutting out the opposing party undermines democracy,” said McConnaughay. “It’s noted in the brief that ‘voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around.’ I am proud to join this effort to safeguard our democracy from the political gerrymandering that is seen not only in Illinois, but in states across the country.”

McConnaughay noted the case’s importance to Illinois, stressing that if the Supreme Court finds Wisconsin did in fact use partisan gerrymandering, that decision could help efforts in Illinois to strike down political gerrymandering.

“Our legislative districts here in Illinois are a prime example of how districts are created at the interest of the majority party. There is no place for political influence, bias, or self-interest when it comes to drawing districts,” McConnaughay explained.

Joining forces with McConnaughay are 26 Republicans and 39 Democrats from Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Maryland. Twelve Illinois Senators and five Illinois State Representatives are part of the coalition, including Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), State Senators Michael Connelly (R-Naperville), Dan McConchie (R- Hawthorn Woods), Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst),  Sue Rezin (R-Peru), Dale Righter (R-Mattoon), Chapin Rose (R-Champaign), Ira Syverson (R-Rockford), Heather Steans (D-Chicago), Jil Tracy (R-Quincy), and Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria), and State Representatives David Olsen (R-Downer Grove), Scott Drury (D-Highwood), Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago), Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) and Bob Pritchard (R-Hinckley).

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