LWVNM on the SCOTUS Decisions on Census and Gerrymandering
March 17, 2019:
Citizenship Question on 2020 Census
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico is pleased that the Supreme Court has not approved the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. Instead, they sent the issue back to the Department of Commerce, leaving the final decision up in the air. We hope that reason prevails and the question will not be added to the census. It would result in a serious undercount in New Mexico, costing the state $3,700 for every resident who goes uncounted. A one percent undercount in the 2020 census would result in the loss of $780 million over ten years. We hope the courts and the administration finally do the right thing.
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico is disappointed that in today's ruling on fair redistricting the U.S. Supreme Court did not take the opportunity to set guidelines for fair redistricting in all the states. As Justice Kagan stated in her dissent, "the partisan gerrymanders here debased and dishonored our democracy, turning upside-down the core American idea that all governmental power derives from the people".
Despite the Supreme Court ruling, New Mexico policymakers still have the opportunity to follow the other 21 states that have acted to ensure that constituents get to choose their legislators rather than legislators choosing their constituents.