Republican-drawn political maps in Wisconsin appear likely to stay in place, after a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court ruling issued Thursday. The decision effectively ends proceedings in Wisconsin, where a retrial was scheduled this summer after the Supreme Court last year threw out a decision on procedural grounds.
The court rejected challenges to Republican-drawn congressional districts in North Carolina and a Democratic district in Maryland. The decision could embolden political line-drawing for partisan gain after the 2020 census.
“We hope the high court’s ruling puts an end to the litigation in Wisconsin associated with redistricting,” Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, (R-Juneau) and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, (R-Rochester), said in a joint statement. “The Supreme Court has now confirmed what we have said all along – that it was not a matter for the federal courts to second guess the Legislature on these issues.”
Wisconsin Democrats were reacting to the news Thursday morning.
U.S. Representative Ron Kind said the decision will allow politicians to choose their voters, instead of their voters choosing them to choose their voters, instead of their voters choosing them. “This decision completely fails to protect our constitution and disenfranchises voters already lacking rights under the Equal Protection Clause. I wholeheartedly disagree with this ruling because it will increase the partisan divide in our country as we move forward,” the La Crosse Democrat said.
This ruling gives the green light for elected officials to choose their voters, instead of their voters choosing them. This decision fails to protect our constitution and disenfranchises voters. This will increase the partisan divide in our country.https://t.co/hYVwg3pcOY
— Rep. Ron Kind (@RepRonKind) June 27, 2019
“Democrats believe every voter deserves to have their voice heard,” said state Senate Minority Leader, Senator Jennifer Shilling. “Republican efforts to suppress voters, restrict voting rights and rig elections through gerrymandered maps have undermined the will of the people.”
“Wisconsin’s heavily gerrymandering maps have created a complete lack of accountability for Republican legislators. The numbers confirm that Republicans have built an impenetrable electoral wall around themselves with no consequences for their actions,” said Assembly Minority Leader, Representative Gordon Hintz. “Today’s SCOTUS decision benefits politicians, not the people of Wisconsin.”
Governor Tony Evers said the Supreme Court’s decision about the politics of political maps is “devastating for our democracy.”
Today’s Supreme Court ruling on partisan gerrymandering is devastating for our democracy, our system of government, the right to participate in the democratic process, and the notion that people should come before politics.
— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) June 27, 2019
The governor said the decision to allow state legislature to draw their own political boundaries will allow politicians to pick their voters, rather than the other way around. The ruling all but ends a challenge to the Republican drawn map in Wisconsin.