Wisconsin Redistricting Challenge Heads To U.S. Supreme Court
Not so fast! A group of Wisconsin lawmakers took their dispute with the recent redistricting efforts to the state Supreme Court. Their appeal their ended up in a 4-3 ruling that affirmed what Governor Tony Evers had submitted. Now, they plan to take their appeal to that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court for a final decision.
At play is the decennial (every ten years) review of lawmaking districts in the state. While nothing prevents a state from changing the boundaries that make up a voting district more often, they are required to redistrict every ten years - following the release of the U.S. Census numbers.
In theory, redistricting realigns the geographic regions that state lawmakers represent at the capital in Madison. Done according to definition, the boundary lines would be set so that each of the voting districts in the state would be comprised of the same amount of people. This sounds good in theory and looks good on paper, but the reality is that gerrymandering is often part of the process, with political parties and lawmakers seeking to keep their seats and their power.
Now that the Wisconsin lawmakers have taken their appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, they will have to wait to see if the federal bench will take on the case. According to an article in the Superior Telegram [paywall], they "expect an indication within two to three weeks as to whether the U.S. Supreme Court will take the case".
Either way, the Wisconsin Elections Commission is up against the timeline and schedule for spring elections. The Commission "originally said it needed to have new maps in place by March 1 in order to begin preparing for the 2022 elections". Obviously that date has come and gone. However, some hard dates lie ahead - including the April 15 date in which "candidates are scheduled to begin circulating nominating petitions to get on the ballot for this years' partisan primary elections". A final decision would need to be on the books by that date.