The Wisconsin Supreme Court redraws legislative maps for Democrats

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Liberal justices of the Wisconsin Supreme Court invalidated Republican-drawn legislative maps and ordered new district borders as Democrats wanted.

Photo from Google

Wisconsin Supreme Court Sparks Redistricting Clash Ahead of 2024 Election

This decision, less than a year before the 2024 election, is noteworthy in a state that has often been a presidential battlefield with thin margins. The 4-3 verdict in favor of Democrats claims that the present maps violate contiguity standards since districts are distinct. The Wisconsin Elections Commission was ordered to stop using the maps in future elections.

Democratic Governor Tony Evers praised the ruling, hoping to fix the gerrymandered map issue. Attorney Dan Lenz’s Law Forward case challenged the effects of gerrymandered maps on fair representation and public faith in the political system, winning for representative democracy.

However, Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos called the judgment a “sad day for our state” and suggested appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Wisconsin Supreme Court appointed experts Jonathan Cervas and Bernard Grofman, who have redrawn districts in other states, to create new maps on a timeframe.

READ ALSO: Wisconsin’s Democratic governor sues Republican Legislature over blocking basic functions

Court Sets Deadline for Legislature on New Maps

In 2024, new districts may be drawn if the Republican-controlled Legislature passes plans supported by Governor Evers, the court said. If the Legislature does nothing, court-appointed consultants will propose new maps.

Conservative justices questioned the consultants’ selection and legal authority, indicating potential controversy. Proposed maps are due January 12 and supporting arguments 10 days later. Consultant reports are due by February 1, and new maps may be released in late February or early March unless the Legislature acts quickly.

After Justice Janet Protasiewicz’s election, the Wisconsin Supreme Court became 4-3 liberal in August, sparking this legal struggle. Before joining the liberal judges, Protasiewicz called GOP maps “unfair” and “rigged” during her candidacy. Conservative justices called the majority’s ruling “judicial activism on steroids” and an attack on democracy. Dissenting voices worried that the court was departing from its constitutional duty every ten years after a census and accused the majority of partisanship.

READ ALSO: Wisconsin Supreme Court calls for legislative maps to be redrawn in case brought by Democrats

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