The US Supreme Court has dismissed a challenge to Wisconsin’s elections map, but not for good.
In a 7 – 2 decision, the US Supreme Court has sent the case back to the federal district courts.
Writing for the Majority, Chief Justice John Roberts said this was not a ruling on the merits of the case.
Instead, he says that Wisconsin Democrats lacked standing to bring a lawsuit when it came to the entire state’s voters as a whole, and that they needed to prove that individual voters in a district were harmed by having their votes cast in uneven districts.
John Marshall Law School professor Steven Schwinn says the Justices decided that the case couldn’t rule on Wisconsin’s entire voting map at once. “They said, look this has been our prior practice. We’ve allowed these kinds of challenges on a district by district basis, when a voter can show harm as a voter in their district.”
UW Law School professor Robert Yablon says we’re likely to see a refining of the plaintiff’s case when it comes back to the federal court level. “You now are likely to have a situation in which the case goes back to the trial court and more individual plaintiffs who live in districts across the state are added as plaintiffs, and maybe the Democratic Party itself becomes a plaintiff.”
Democrat Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning responded today, saying that her party won’t be giving up that easily. “Regardless of today’s ruling, Democrats in Wisconsin will continue to compete everywhere possible in 2018. We will continue to mobilize, and we will continue to build the infrastructure necessary for more victories for the people of Wisconsin.”
Attorney General Brad Schimel issued the following statement in response. “I am pleased that the highest court in the land has unanimously reversed the trial court’s erroneous decision invalidating Wisconsin’s Assembly map. Today is win for the rule of law in Wisconsin, and a testament to the talented attorneys at the Wisconsin Department of Justice.”
We will continue to update this story throughout the day.