Last year Common Cause launched the inaugural Democracy Prize Writing Competition to identify the best “gerrymander standard.” We had the honor of serving as co-chairs of the judging panel. Our goal was to encourage fresh thinking about a standard for partisan gerrymandering that can be used to challenge some of the most egregious examples of drawing districts for political advantage. With the Supreme Court poised to issue a decision in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, identifying a standard that empowers citizens to challenge unfair maps is more important than ever.
Scholars and students from around the country submitted papers putting forth a wide variety of ideas. Our distinguished panel of judges identified three winning entries. Each of these papers represents especially thought-provoking and creative scholarship, making important contributions to the study of elections and democracy. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week, we’ll announce each of the winning entries in daily blog posts summarizing their ideas and linking to the papers. All three of the winning papers will be published in Election Law Journal this fall.
We’d like to thank our fellow judges for their hard work and thoughtful analysis of the submissions. Our judging panel included Wayne State University Law School Dean Jocelyn Benson, Duke Law Professor and Center on Law, Race and Politics Director Guy-Uriel Charles, Office of Congressional Ethics Board Member Alison Hayward, and Pepperdine School of Law Professor Derek Muller.
Thanks also to all of those who submitted papers. Many of those we didn’t select represent exciting contributions to the field, which we hope to see in print soon.
Norm Ornstein & Dan Tokaji