Lawsuit Filed With State Supreme Court Targeting GOP-Favoring Maps After Liberals Flip Bench

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In Wisconsin, a new challenge has been filed with the state Supreme Court against the district maps currently in place for state legislative districts. The challenge was brought very soon after the control of that court flipped from conservatives to liberals with a recent ceremony in which Judge Janet Protasiewicz was sworn into a ten-year term after an election victory.

Though the race was non-partisan on paper, Protasiewicz aligned herself with priorities of the Democratic Party, having already expressed skepticism during the campaign of district lines that legislators approved. Though Democrats have proven themselves to be competitive in recent elections held statewide in Wisconsin, Republicans have a commanding lead in both chambers of the state legislature at present, with their portions of seats far outpacing the shares of the vote they received in races like the 2020 contest for president. Groups responsible for the new challenge include the Stafford Rosenbaum law firm, the Election Law Clinic at Harvard Law School, the Campaign Legal Center, and the Arnold & Porter law firm. Individual voters in Wisconsin are represented.

Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat who won another term in office as Wisconsin’s chief executive last year over a Trump-aligned challenger, expressed support for the new court case. “For years, members of the Wisconsin State Legislature have consistently ignored the will of the people, and they’ve been able to do so comfortably and without facing any real accountability because they have gerrymandered themselves into safe, partisan districts,” Evers alleged. “It’s time for that to change.”

Redistricting after the 2020 census also remains an active issue elsewhere, with the Congressional district map in Alabama still under dispute. The U.S. Supreme Court directed that a new map be drawn for the state including another district with a Black majority or something very close, but state officials in Alabama have since put a new map into motion that stops at making Black voters just 40 percent of a second district.