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News & Press: Legislative

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Take Up State Redistricting Case

Wednesday, June 28, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sarah Bass
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Could Have Broad Implications for Drawing of Legislative Maps Throughout Country and Whether GOP Holds Majority in WI

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Monday to take up the Wisconsin redistricting case, a significant development that will ultimately decide whether Wisconsin's legislative boundaries are unconstitutional and could have implications for the drawing of legislative maps across the country.
A federal appeals court last fall ruled 2-1 that the state's legislative boundaries are unconstitutional. The current maps were redrawn in 2011 after Republicans took control of the governor's office, state Senate and state Assembly - and currently, Republicans hold 64 of the 99 state Assembly seats and 20 of the 33 state Senate seats. The lawsuit contends that the districts were gerrymandered to clearly prevent Democrats from winning seats in certain districts. The federal appeals court ruling supported their position and ordered that the state legislative maps be redrawn by November 2017, but the state of Wisconsin appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in February.
The redrawing of the maps will be put on hold following the outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling. It is expected that a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court could be forthcoming for new maps to be redrawn in time for the November 2018 elections. If the court rules against the current maps, it could be a chance for Democrats to pick up more seats in both the state Senate and state Assembly.
Both Republicans and Democrats this week declared optimism that the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately find in their favor.

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