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.
- State Supreme Court Rules For ‘Least Changes’ to Redistricting - Shawn Johnson - Nov 30th, 2021
- AG Kaul Issues Statement on Wisconsin Supreme Court Redistricting Decision - Wisconsin Department of Justice - Nov 30th, 2021
- Wisconsin Supreme Court Adopts Criteria for Redistricting in WILL Lawsuit - Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty - Nov 30th, 2021
- Statement on SCOWIS Decision - Fair Elections Project - Nov 30th, 2021
- Evers Vetoes Republican Legislative Maps - Bridgit Bowden - Nov 18th, 2021
- Gov. Evers Vetoes GOP’s “Gerrymandering 2.0” Maps - Gov. Tony Evers - Nov 18th, 2021
- Data Wonk: Comparing GOP And People’s Maps - Bruce Thompson - Nov 17th, 2021
- Rep. Bowen’s Statement on Gerrymandered Republican Maps: Same Poop in a New Toilet - State Rep. David Bowen - Nov 11th, 2021
- Expressing Disappointment in Rep. Ortiz-Velez for Carrying Water for Republican Speaker Robin Vos at the Expense of Our Constituents - Ald. JoCasta Zamarripa - Nov 11th, 2021
- Rep. Robyn Vining Votes Against Gerrymandered Maps, Supports Fair Maps - State Rep. Robyn Vining - Nov 11th, 2021
Read more about Gerrymandering of Legislative Districts here
Mentioned in This Press Release
Recent Press Releases by Wisconsin Fair Elections Project
Nonpartisan redistricting commission charged with drawing fair, impartial maps based on Census data
"It’s time to return power to the people, and make our redistricting process nonpartisan and independent."
Statement on Governor Evers’ announcement he will include nonpartisan redistricting reform in his proposed budgetFeb 26th, 2019 by Wisconsin Fair Elections Project
"This decision gives us a chance to have representative democracy again in Wisconsin."