Wisconsin Superior Court Confirms GOP Preferred Card Approach | WIVT

MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) – A divided Wisconsin Supreme Court sided with the Republicans in a redistribution dispute on Tuesday, ruling that it did not see the need for meaningful changes to the maps that helped the GOP to win a majority in the state legislature and congressional delegation. .

The 4-3 decision rejected Democrats ‘arguments that the current cards are heavily skewed to favor Republicans and dilute Democrats’ voting power.

Republican majorities in the legislature increased after the map she drew in 2011 was passed, even as Democrats won state office elections. The court ruling makes it anything but certain that these GOP majorities will remain in place for the next decade.

The conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Freedom filed a lawsuit arguing that the fairest and most neutral way to resolve the redistribution was to take a “less change” approach and adapt only to population changes. Democrats and their allies argued that new maps should be drawn from scratch.

But the conservative Supreme Court majority said changes to current maps should be limited to population changes highlighted by the once-per-decade census. He also said he would ignore the partisan makeup of the districts, dismissing the Democratic argument that not considering this would only strengthen the current majorities in the GOP.

“We take the least change approach to remedy any constitutional or statutory infirmities in the existing maps, because the constitution prevents the judiciary from interfering with the legal policy choices of the legislature,” the court said.

In explaining why the court would ignore the partisan makeup of the districts, Judge Rebecca Bradley wrote for the majority that it was “political issues, not legal”.

“Such claims have no basis in the constitution or any other law and therefore must be resolved through the political process and not through the judiciary,” Bradley wrote.

Sachin Chheda, director of the Fair Elections Project, said the majority of the tribunal “has once again demonstrated that its loyalty is to the Republican Party, not to the laws of Wisconsin.”

“Regardless of this corrupt nonsense, if it isn’t fair to our state, it shouldn’t be accepted by federal courts, and more importantly, it won’t be accepted by the people of Wisconsin.” , said Chheda.

States are responsible for redrawing the demarcation lines every ten years after each census. Republicans controlled the legislature and governor’s office in 2011, the last time this was done. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has vetoed Republican cards this year, taking the battle to court. Evers called the cards “gerrymandering 2.0”.

There is also an ongoing federal lawsuit by the Democrats, but this court has said it will defer to the state lawsuit for now. It is not clear whether the federal court will deal with the redistribution after the state Supreme Court concludes the case.

Democrats have been pushing for federal courts to pass new maps, as they have done in recent decades when the Legislative Assembly and the governor disagreed. The state Supreme Court last dealt with constituency redistribution in 1964.

Judges Bradley, Brian Hagedorn, Patience Roggensack and Annette Ziegler ruled for the majority. Liberal Justices Rebecca Dallet, Ann Walsh Bradley and Jill Karofsky were dissenting.

In dissent, Dallet noted that federal courts have historically resolved redistribution issues. The Supreme Court ruling that minimal changes must be made to the current maps drawn by the GOP “almost guarantees” that it will not be neutral and non-partisan when taking charge of the redistribution, Dallet wrote.

“Taking a least change approach is an inherently political choice,” wrote Dallet. “As tried as they can, the majority are not fooling anyone by claiming that their decision is neutral and apolitical.”

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