Plaintiffs call for new maps for Wisconsin legislative district
“The citizens of Wisconsin should have a chance to elect a government which represents us,” said Sachin Chheda, Director of the Fair Election Project
MADISON—Wisconsin citizens who recently won a federal trial, resulting in Wisconsin’s legislative district maps being ruled unconstitutional for being an illegal partisan gerrymander, today asked the U.S. District Court to redraw those maps in advance of the next round of state legislative elections.
“The court’s verdict last month was clear – Wisconsin’s legislative maps are unconstitutional, and the GOP majority violated the rights of Wisconsin’s citizens when they adopted the map,” said Sachin Chheda, Director of the Fair Election Project, which organized and launched the lawsuit. “Today the plaintiffs formally asked that the maps be replaced, so we can have free and fair elections in the state of Wisconsin. The citizens of Wisconsin should have a chance to elect a government which represents us.”
The ruling a month ago in Whitford v. Gill came after a May 2016 trial. A majority of the federal three-judge panel overseeing the case granted victory to 12 Wisconsin Democrats who filed suit more than a year ago. This ruling represents the first time a map has been overturned by a federal court for being a political gerrymander.
“Every Wisconsin citizen deserves the right to have their vote count,” said Sen. Dale Schultz, a former Republican Majority Leader of the Wisconsin State Senate, who co-chairs the Fair Elections Project. “The plaintiffs won at trial, they won twice earlier in the process when the state tried to short-circuit this case, and now they are likely to win at the Supreme Court.”
“What happened in Wisconsin in 2011 was an egregious violation of our state’s moral values,” said Sen. Tim Cullen, a former Democratic Majority Leader of the Wisconsin State Senate, who serves as the other co-chair. “Instead of voters choosing their elected officials, the Republican majority in Wisconsin decided they would entrench themselves in power despite the views of voters. The court has said clearly that will not stand.”
Originally filed in July 2015, the lawsuit demanded district maps for the state Legislature be thrown out, calling the line-drawing process “secretive” and “partisan,” and the maps unconstitutional for overly advantaging one party. The lawsuit fulfills a call issued by the U.S. Supreme Court in previous cases for a standard to measure how much partisan gerrymandering is allowable, and shows how Wisconsin’s map is far outside acceptable redistricting norms.
The plaintiffs are represented by an all-star team of attorneys, including Peter Earle and Doug Poland as co-lead trial counsel, Prof. Nicholas Stephanopoulos of the University of Chicago Law School, Michele Odorizzi of Mayer Brown, and a team from the Campaign Legal Center, including Gerry Hebert and Ruth Greenwood.
More information about the lawsuit and campaign can be found at the Wisconsin Fair Elections website at fairelectionsproject.org, or on Facebook and Twitter using @WIFairElections.
- Gerrymandering Creates Difficult Road for Dems in Wisconsin - Tom Palzewicz - Aug 4th, 2020
- The People’s Maps Commission application deadline is this Friday - Ald. Khalif Rainey - Jul 29th, 2020
- Op Ed: Why Vos and Fitzgerald Fear Fair Maps - Jay Heck - Jul 23rd, 2020
- Op Ed: People’s Maps Commission Seeks Fair Elections - State Sen. Jeff Smith - Jul 21st, 2020
- Gov. Evers Delivers Democratic Radio Address on The People’s Maps Commission - Gov. Tony Evers - Jul 9th, 2020
- Statement from Senator Erpenbach on The People’s Maps Commission - State Sen. Jon Erpenbach - Jul 9th, 2020
- Gov. Evers Announces People’s Maps Commission Application and Selection Processes - Gov. Tony Evers - Jul 9th, 2020
- 8 More Counties Plan Referendum on Gerrymandering - Matt Rothschild - Jun 29th, 2020
- Op Ed: Jensen Tries to Pre-Rig Redistricting - Matt Rothschild - Jun 9th, 2020
- WILL Wants WI Supreme Court to Take Redistricting Cases First - Shawn Johnson - Jun 4th, 2020
Read more about Gerrymandering of Legislative Districts here
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