Federal Court Could Intervene in Wisconsin Redistricting
If Evers and Legislature can't agree on redistricting in a timely manner a federal court will step in.
A panel of three federal judges denied a request from Republican lawmakers to dismiss two lawsuits that seek to have a federal court draw new maps for legislative districts.
The panel’s order, released on Thursday, states that if Gov. Tony Evers and Republican leadership can’t reach a compromise on the redistricting process — an outcome Republicans and Democrats see as likely — the court is ready to step in and draw new maps for the state.
“This court understands the state government’s primacy in redistricting its legislative and congressional maps,” the order states. “These parties argue that the panel should forestall from any action until the state court system hears the case. But there is yet no indication that the state courts will entertain redistricting in the face of an impasse between the Legislature and the governor. Federal panels — not state courts — have intervened in the last three redistricting cycles in which Wisconsin has had a divided government.”
At a future hearing, the panel will consider a temporary delay of the case to allow for Evers, the Legislature and, possibly, the state court system, to find a solution.
“The court is inclined to follow the Arrington approach by imposing a limited stay to give the legislative process, and perhaps the state courts, the first opportunity to enact new maps,” the order states. “But the court will set a schedule that will allow for the timely resolution of the case should the state process languish or fail.”
Democrats and progressive groups see Thursday’s order as a win as they look to draw new maps that even out the lines that have entrenched Republican power in the state Legislature for the last decade.
“The federal court is the right venue to decide these complicated issues, and we appreciate the court’s decision to stop Republican leaders from short-circuiting the federal case. The federal courts have the experience and wherewithal to do the necessary fact-finding and address the voting rights questions at hand, unlike the State Supreme Court,” Sachin Chheda, executive director of the Fair Elections Project, said.
Federal court ready to draw new maps if Evers, Legislature fail was originally published by the Wisconsin Examiner.
If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits, all detailed here.
- Data Wonk: Examining Wisconsin Gerrymandering By Analyzing 2022 Election Results - Bruce Thompson - Jan 13th, 2023
- DOJ Joins Coalition Urging Supreme Court Not to Weaken Voting Rights Act Protections in Alabama Redistricting Case - Wisconsin Department of Justice - Jul 25th, 2022
- The State of Politics: How Republicans Won Redistricting Fight - Steven Walters - Apr 25th, 2022
- Redistricting Update - Wisconsin Elections Commission - Apr 18th, 2022
- Gov. Evers Releases Statement Reacting to Wisconsin Supreme Court Decision Regarding Redistricting - Gov. Tony Evers - Apr 15th, 2022
- Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District Might Be Competitive Again - Shawn Johnson - Apr 15th, 2022
- Data Wonk: State’s Gerrymander Could Last Forever - Bruce Thompson - Mar 30th, 2022
- Op Ed: US Supreme Court Throws State Election Into Chaos - Ruth Conniff - Mar 27th, 2022
- Redistricting Case Returns to State Supreme Court - Shawn Johnson - Mar 25th, 2022
- Gov. Evers Releases Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Decision Regarding Redistricting - Gov. Tony Evers - Mar 23rd, 2022
Read more about Gerrymandering of Legislative Districts here