U.S. Supreme Court Allows Gerrymandering
Ruling effectively ends challenge to Republicans’ skewed legislative maps.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that federal courts don’t have the power to decide cases related to partisan gerrymandering, effectively ending a Wisconsin lawsuit against legislative maps drawn by Republicans in 2011.
The Supreme Court rejected the Wisconsin case in June 2018, but the door was left open to future gerrymandering rulings that could affect the state’s legislative maps.
Sachin Chheda, director of Fair Elections Project, which helped organize Wisconsin’s lawsuit, said Thursday he was disappointed by the high court’s ruling. He said his organization will now push for change outside of the courts, including through proposals in the state Legislature.
“We’re going to keep using the legislative and political processes to change how districts are drawn so we can have fair elections again in Wisconsin and across the country,” he said.
“Republican efforts to suppress voters, restrict voting rights and rig elections through gerrymandered maps have undermined the will of the people,” said Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse. “Democrats will continue to champion non-partisan redistricting reform to empower citizens and restore fairness to our election process.”
Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, said Wisconsin’s maps have “have created a complete lack of accountability for Republican legislators.”
“The numbers confirm that Republicans have built an impenetrable electoral wall around themselves with no consequences for their actions,” Hintz said.
Gov. Tony Evers proposed a nonpartisan redistricting commission for Wisconsin in his budget. GOP lawmakers who control the state Legislature removed it from the spending plan.
But Republican leaders lauded the court’s decision Thursday morning, including former Gov. Scott Walker, who serves as the national finance chairman for the National Republican Redistricting Trust, a conservative advocacy group on the issue.
“Today’s opinion has finally pulled the federal courts out of the business of picking winners and losers in redistricting cases,” Walker said in a prepared statement.
US Supreme Court Ruling Effectively Ends Wisconsin Gerrymandering Challenge was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.
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Read more about Gerrymandering of Legislative Districts here