The state Department of Justice has filed an appeal of a federal court ruling that struck down Wisconsin’s legislative district maps.
The DOJ on Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the 2-1 decision from November, which found the maps drawn in 2011 were unconstitutional because Republicans drew them in a way intended to minimize the impact of votes cast by Democrats. The so-called “efficiency gap” is based on a theory that Democratic vote are packed into smaller districts, allowing Republicans to win more seats with fewer votes.
The appeals court has ordered lawmakers to draw new maps by next November, which would be in effect for the 2018 election cycle.
Sachin Chheda, Director of the Fair Elections Project, which organized and launched the legal challenge, criticized the decision to move ahead with a legal battle. “The AG and the Legislature should be focused on the next steps and complying with the district court’s order, rather than wasting more taxpayer dollars defending an unfair, unconstitutional map drawn in a secret process,” Chheda said in a statement.
A spokesman with the DOJ declined to comment on the decision to file an appeal.