A lawsuit filed today asks Wisconsin's newly liberal-controlled state Supreme Court to throw out Republican-drawn legislative maps as unconstitutional, the latest legal challenge of many nationwide that could upset political boundary lines before 2024.https://t.co/vhULJzt3rI— Scott Bauer (@sbauerAP) August 2, 2023
The long-promised action is backed by Democrats and was filed by a coalition of law firms and voting rights advocacy groups. It comes the day after the Wisconsin Supreme Court flipped from a conservative to liberal majority, with the start of the term of a justice who said that the Republican maps were “rigged” and should be reviewed. “Despite the fact that our legislative branch is meant to be the most directly representative of the people, the gerrymandered maps have divided our communities, preventing fair representation,” said Jeff Mandell, board president of Law Forward, one of the groups that brought the lawsuit.... The latest challenge asks the Wisconsin Supreme Court to take the case directly, rather than have it work through lower courts, arguing that the state legislative maps are an unconstitutional gerrymander. Notably, the lawsuit does not challenge the congressional maps.... The petition filed with the Supreme Court argues that the current maps unconstitutionally retaliate against some voters based on their viewpoint and free speech; create non-contiguous districts that include scattered fragments of detached territory; treat some voters worse than others based on their political views and where they live; and violate the promise of a free government.Had to be done, and it absolutely needs to go directly to the new Supreme Court. Time is short, and these maps must be fixed before Spring 2024, when candidates send out nominating petitions and file for the August primaries. The fact that this suit came so fast isn't surprising, but this part of the suit was something I hadn't thought of.
The lawsuit asks that all 132 state lawmakers be up for election that year in newly drawn districts. In Senate districts that are midway through a four-year term in 2024, there would be a special election with the winner serving two years. Then the regular four-year cycle would resume again in 2026.It makes sense, right? If the maps were illegitimate in 2022, then everyone elected to the Senate is illegitimate, and they can't be allowed to stay around any longer than necessary. EARN THAT SEAT. Of course, if the maps are found to be illegal, the question then becomes "How do you fix it?" Well, I have Assembly and Senate maps RIGHT HERE, if Law Forward or anyone wants to submit them. It's basically what I did before, with a few improvements and tweaks since then. All I did was try to keep communities together (the current maps split up a lot of cities for no reason beyond gerrymandering), set lines in logical, relatively compact ways, and tried to make sure a sufficient amount of districts in Milwaukee (along with one in Racine) were majority-minority. The result was this Assembly map.