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Legislative Update


Supreme Court adopts Gov. Evers’ redistricting maps

by | Mar 4, 2022 | Legislative Update Blog, State Issue | 0 comments

A split Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled 4-3 to adopt the redistricting maps submitted by Gov. Tony Evers. These were not the maps drawn by the People’s Map Commission, but a subsequent proposal after the Supreme Court had earlier ruled that they would evaluate the maps taking a “least change” approach.

While viewed by many observers as a win for Democrats, the new maps are not expected to drastically change the makeup of the state legislature where Republican majorities have controlled both houses (Republicans currently hold five of the eight congressional districts, have a 61-38 majority in the state Assembly and a 21-12 majority in the state Senate). It does, however, reduce the likelihood Republicans will achieve a 2/3 supermajority in both houses that would enable them to override any gubernatorial veto without needing Democrat votes.

There is also the potential for further legal challenges as yesterday’s decision is likely to be appealed.

From Wispolitics: “But the fight over the lines that will be in place for the 2022 elections isn’t necessarily over, with conservative Justice Pat Roggensack writing she hopes the U.S. Supreme Court will review what she called an unconstitutional racial gerrymander.

“The state Supreme Court’s 4-3 ruling late yesterday — penned by Brian Hagedorn — was a win for Dems. While they would still face an uphill battle to win majorities in the Assembly and the Senate, the map is much more favorable than the one submitted by GOP lawmakers.

“Under Evers’ map, there are 55 GOP Assembly seats, for example, and 44 districts that have typically voted Dem in recent years.

“Under the GOP maps, former President Trump would’ve won 64 of the 99 Assembly seats had those lines been in place in 2020, just short of the two-thirds majority needed for a veto-proof Republican majority.”

From the WI State Journal: “Evers set up the court battle over the state’s next decennial maps when he vetoed GOP-drawn boundaries in mid-November. The governor had championed boundaries drawn by the People’s Maps Commission, but those maps failed to get universal support among legislative Democrats, with some criticizing the boundaries for potentially diminishing Black and Hispanic representation in the Legislature.

“After the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of a “least change” approach, Evers submitted new maps that made fewer changes than the Republican proposal, while also slightly reducing the projected Republican advantage in the Legislature.”

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In the latest Capitol Watch, WASB's Dan Rossmiller and Chris Kulow break down the November election results and what it means for public schools. Read their column in the December Wisconsin School News: ow.ly/lBqm50LQr86 pic.twitter.com/vwxLvrDm5s