Right-Wing State Court Justices Could Undercut Freedom to Pick Our Leaders in Elections With Districting Decision

‘They Chose Partisanship Over the People’s Best Interests’

MADISON, Wis. — A fundamental premise of our freedom as Americans is that we, with our votes, pick our leaders in elections but a decision yesterday from the right -wing majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court stands that proposition on its head. In a lawsuit over the drawing of new state legislative and congressional district lines, a split court suggested they would try to largely keep intact the current district lines that are rated by independent analysis as some of the most egregiously gerrymandered in the nation.

“The right-wing justices on the Supreme Court took the Republicans’ side in accepting their argument to protect their 2011 gerrymander,” said A Better Wisconsin Together Executive Director Chris Walloch. “They chose partisanship over the people’s best interests and the fundamental principle that we should have the freedom to pick our leaders with our votes.”

The decision written by Justice Rebecca Bradley suggests the court would follow a “least change” principle, essentially making only minimal changes based on new population numbers to the districting plan Republicans rammed through in 2011 when they gained complete control of state government.

Those 2011 Republican drawn district lines are, according to multiple analyses, are egregiously gerrymandered and give the Republicans far more seats in the state legislature than their share of statewide vote totals would otherwise earn them.

In addition, a Princeton University review of the latest versions of Republican districting maps that embrace the same principle as the court decision received an overall “F” rating including an “F” rating in the “competitiveness category.

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A Better Wisconsin Together is a state-based research and communications hub for progressives and is an affiliate of ProgressNow.