Wisconsin Public Radio

Supreme Court Won’t Hear Democrats’ Lawsuit To Redraw Congressional Maps

Decision leaves U.S. House seats in place for 2024 election. Protasiewicz sits out decision.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Mar 1st, 2024 04:51 pm
The Wisconsin State Capitol on Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Madison, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

The Wisconsin State Capitol on Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Madison, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

The Wisconsin Supreme Court won’t hear a lawsuit that sought to redraw the state’s congressional map, striking a blow to Democrats that could have national implications.

The ruling means the state will hold its 2024 U.S. House elections using the existing map, which helped the GOP win six of eight congressional districts in 2022, despite a strong showing from Democrats statewide.

The suit, filed by Democratic firm Elias Law Group, asked justices to reopen a 2021 redistricting case in which the court’s former conservative majority adopted a “least changes” approach to redrawing congressional and state legislative maps.

It hinged on a December ruling by the state Supreme Court’s liberal majority in Wisconsin’s high-profile legislative redistricting case. In that decision, justices ruled the “least changes” approach used previously by the court to draw legislative and congressional district lines “lacks any basis in Wisconsin redistricting law or precedent.”

The court’s rejection of the lawsuit, which Republicans called a political venture using a “cynical hypothesis, “likely hurts Democratic chances of picking away at a slim GOP majority in Congress going into the November election.

While Democrats could still compete in Wisconsin, they face an uphill climb. Just two of the state’s congressional seats are considered competitive under the current map, and both are represented by GOP incumbents.

In the 1st Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Janesville, won his 2022 election by roughly 9 percentage points. In the 3rd Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Derrick Van Orden won by less than 4 percentage points.

Supreme Court won’t hear lawsuit seeking to redraw Wisconsin’s congressional maps was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

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