WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - At the Supreme Court Tuesday it was “The Terminator” and “The Governor” — two governors actually. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan joined forces for a common cause — stopping politicians from drawing up Congressional districts that favor their own parties.
Let’s face it, “gerrymandering” can be one of those political issues that people fade out on. So when Schwarzenegger showed up at the U.S. Supreme Court with Hogan Tuesday, he turned a Hollywood spotlight on an issue for many voters that lurks in the shadows. But, Schwarzenegger, who’s Hollywood’s supreme action star, told the crowd he’d come here to the Supreme Court to “Terminate gerrymandering.”
“Today, we’ve got two cases here where you see right away, that the ‘villain’ is not a party, but the ‘villain’ is the politicians because they keep drawing the district lines to protect their jobs rather than representing the people,” said Schwarzenegger.
“We need to just take the power away from the politicians and give it to the people because representatives should not be picking their citizens. The citizens should be picking their representatives. That’s the way it’s supposed to work in America,” said Hogan.
Schwarzenegger and Hogan attended the Supreme Court cases together. At issue — how congressional districts were drawn up in Maryland and North Carolina.
Critics say it’s a rigged system. In Maryland, Republicans have 35 percent of the vote but they only have 12 percent of the representation in Congress. Meanwhile, in North Carolina, Democrats have 47 percent of the votes and only get 23 percent of the representation.
Schwarzenegger says independent redistricting commissions he helped create in California forced politicians in both parties to reach out to all the voters, not just the ones who agreed with them.
“Democrat and Republican legislators have to talk to all of the citizens. That’s what this is all about. So I think that’s why we’ve gained momentum, that’s why so many other states jumped on board and I think people just needed to be educated because people are very frustrated,” said Schwarzenegger.
The Maryland case centered around Maryland’s 6th Congressional District. For years, it was represented by a Republican, but then Democrats, led by former Gov. Martin O’Malley re-drew the map, and the Democrats took over.
A decision is expected in the next three months before the Supreme Court’s term ends in June.