Supreme Court Hears Redistricting Challenge

By Robert Cunningham, updated on November 22, 2023

An intense legal battle is unfolding in Wisconsin over the state's legislative maps, with liberal and progressive groups crying foul over perceived partisan gerrymandering.

In a bid to rectify what they view as an imbalance, these groups have challenged the state's legislative maps, arguing that they disproportionately favor Republicans.

The crux of their argument lies in the notion that the maps are unconstitutional due to the lack of geographical connection in some districts. The groups refrained from any legal action two years ago, citing uncertainty over the final map layouts. However, the recent addition of a liberal justice to the state Supreme Court has catalyzed their lawsuit.

New Liberal Justice Sparks Legal Action

The groups' lawsuit was announced less than a day after Justice Janet Protasiewicz, who campaigned against the allegedly rigged maps, joined the Supreme Court. Protasiewicz's election to the bench is seen as a significant shift in the court's composition, and her stance on the maps was a central point in her campaign.

The lawsuit's timing has not gone unnoticed. Some conservatives on the bench have accused the plaintiffs of deliberately launching their case to coincide with the new justice's appointment.

Despite the criticism, the groups remain undeterred in their quest for new maps. They demand that the court redraw the maps and invalidate the outcomes of the 2022 state legislative elections, a move that would significantly impact the political landscape in Wisconsin.

Contentious Oral Arguments at State Supreme Court

Oral arguments were held on November 22, 2023, at the state Supreme Court. During the proceedings, Justice Bradley questioned the groups' timing and their absence in the previous redistricting case two years prior.

“Where were you? Where were your clients two years ago? We've already been through this. Redistricting happens once every 10 years after the census. All of the issues that you're bringing actually could have been brought before this court two years ago.”

In response, Attorney Gaber challenged the notion that not raising a constitutional claim within 12 days would forever bar them from raising that claim in the future against a yet-to-be-determined map.

Highly Anticipated Decision to Impact Future Elections

This case's outcome, yet to be determined by the state Supreme Court, will unquestionably have profound implications for future elections in Wisconsin, particularly if the court decides in favor of the plaintiffs. The groups have expressed their desire for new maps to be in place before the 2024 elections if they emerge victorious in the case.

Taylor Meehan, the lawyer for the Wisconsin legislature, underscored the groups' delay in challenging the maps, noting that they filed their lawsuit the day after the court's membership changed.

The legal proceedings are ongoing, and the nation is eagerly awaiting the outcome, which could set a precedent for future redistricting disputes nationwide.

Conclusion

  • Liberal and progressive groups in Wisconsin have filed a lawsuit challenging the state's legislative maps, claiming they are gerrymandered to favor Republicans.
  • The lawsuit was filed shortly after Justice Janet Protasiewicz, a critic of the maps, joined the state Supreme Court.
  • Justice Bradley and Taylor Meehan, the lawyer for the Wisconsin legislature, both raised questions about the groups' timing in filing the lawsuit.
  • The outcome of this case could have significant implications for future elections in Wisconsin and potentially set a precedent for other states grappling with similar issues.

About Robert Cunningham

With years of experience at the forefront of political commentary, Robert Cunningham brings a blend of sharp wit and deep insight to his analysis of American principles at the Capitalism Institute.

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