Wisconsin Supreme Court Overturns Republican Drawn Maps

The Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned Republican-drawn legislative maps on Friday, ordering new ones be drawn ahead of the 2024 election.

The court sided 4-3 with the Democrat-backed coalition who filed a lawsuit challenging the maps the day after the court flipped to a liberal majority in August, when the newly-elected Justice Janet Protasiewicz joined the court. If the legislature and Democratic governor fail to agree, the court said in its ruling that it would draw them itself, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“Because the current state legislative districts contain separate, detached territory and therefore violate the constitution’s contiguity requirements, we enjoin the Wisconsin Elections Commission from using the current legislative maps in future elections,” the decision states.

In April 2022, the Wisconsin Supreme Court imposed the same maps previously vetoed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, which Democrats argued was a violation of the separation of powers, according to the AP.

“This deal was sealed on election night,” Chief Justice Annette Ziegler wrote in her dissenting opinion. “Four justices remap Wisconsin even though this constitutional responsibility is to occur every ten years, after a census, by the other two branches of government.”

“The court of four’s outcome-based, end-justifies-the-means judicial activist approach conflates the balance of governmental power the people separated into three separate branches, to but one: the judiciary,” she continued. “Such power-hungry activism is dangerous to our constitutional framework and undermines the judiciary.”

Protasiewicz, who sided with the majority, declined to recuse herself from the case in response to calls and threats of impeachment from Republican legislators. During her campaign, Protasiewicz called the maps “rigged,” according to the AP.

Katelynn Richardson on December 22, 2023

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