Wisconsin Supreme Court Accepts Case Regarding State’s Legislative Maps
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case involving the state’s legislative maps, according to a news release issued on Friday. The case will involve the current Republican-drawn district maps that are widely perceived as being among the most gerrymandered in the country.
Democratic voters in the state have asked the liberal-controlled state Supreme Court to create new maps, arguing that the existing maps are inequitable. The court’s conservative majority had earlier ruled in favor of the Republican-drawn maps. The new maps would force every lawmaker to stand for election under redrawn lines in 2024. Oral arguments for the case are set to be heard on November 21.
The Political Climate
The redistricting lawsuit has been controversial, with both sides accusing the other of unfairly trying to gain an advantage in the upcoming elections. Republicans argue that Democrats are trying to use political power to their advantage, while Democrats claim that the current maps are unsalvageable. The case centers around whether the current districts are contiguous and if they violate the Wisconsin Constitution’s separation of powers doctrine.
Republicans control both the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly since 2011, and they have implemented a range of conservative policies during that time, including the elimination of collective bargaining for public workers. They have also been a block on Governor Tony Evers’ progressive agenda since he took office in 2019. Republicans are just two seats away from a supermajority that would allow them to overturn Evers’ vetoes, and the new maps, if favoring Democrats, would weaken their grip on power.
The case has already drawn in several high profile politicians. Governor Tony Evers has intervened on the side of voters and has asked the court to toss out the Republican-drawn maps and draw new ones ahead of the 2024 election. Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has suggested that he would pursue impeachment if Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz votes to throw out the Republican maps. Democrats have accused Republicans of gerrymandering and trying to maintain their grip on political power. Republicans have argued that Democrats are trying to use the court as a political weapon.
The outcome of this case will have far-reaching consequences not only for Wisconsin but for the country as a whole. Redistricting is a highly contentious issue that can have a massive impact on the outcome of elections. The political landscape of the state, and possibly the country, could be changed dramatically depending on the court’s decision. The case is set to be heard on November 21, so the wait for a resolution is not long.