Wisconsin Supreme Court’s Legislative Maps Ruling Favors Democrats

The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently sided with Democrats, ordering new district boundaries be drawn, thereby dealing a blow to Republicans who have already drawn their legislative maps.

The Associated Press (AP) reported that the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in favor of Democrats in the Badger State, who argued that the legislative maps must be withdrawn because the districts aren’t adjacent.

By February 2024, new maps are scheduled to be finalized and released. Wisconsin will certainly have an impact in the forthcoming presidential election, considering that it has decided the last six by less than 23,000 votes. Polls have indicated former President Donald Trump will win the Badger State in 2024.

In the court’s majority opinion, Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Jill Karofsky said the Republican-drawn legislative maps violate the Constitution’s “contiguity requirements.”

“Because the current state legislative districts contain separate, detached territory and therefore violate the Constitution’s contiguity requirements, we enjoin the Wisconsin Elections Commission from using the current legislative maps in future elections,” Karofksy wrote.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) celebrated the court’s ruling, saying, “I remain as optimistic as ever that, at long last, the gerrymandered maps Wisconsinites have endured for years might soon be history.”

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) vowed to appeal the court’s decision, saying it was “a sad day for our state.”

An attorney for Law Forward, which brought the lawsuit, praised the court’s ruling, calling it “a victory for a representative democracy in the state of Wisconsin.”

The AP reported that the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision will take effect before the 2024 election unless Republicans can reach a compromise with Evers to pass legislative maps. The Wisconsin governor has vetoed all the current maps.

The maps must be submitted by Jan. 12, 2024, and supporting arguments are due 10 days later. Consultant reports must also be in place by Feb. 1, 2024.

“The Wisconsin Supreme Court said it will proceed with adopting remedial maps in time for the 2024 election unless the Republican-controlled Legislature can pass maps that Evers will sign. Evers vetoed the current maps,” the outlet wrote.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission said that the new maps must be set by March 15, 2024, if they are to be in play for the 2024 election.