Common Cause Director Says Redistricting Likely Headed To Courts

Jun 24, 2020

Wisconsin's Congressional Districts
Credit Wisconsin.gov

A partisan battle in Wisconsin concerning Congressional and legislative voting districts is shaping up. The outcome of that battle will determine the outcome of many political races for many years. Those sentiments were expressed by Common Cause of Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck.

The Constitution mandates after a census, the state legislatures redraw the voting districts. The process in Wisconsin has always been done by the majority party in the legislature. A challenge to the 2010 legislative redistricting failed to make it the U.S. Supreme Court. The challengers said districts had been gerrymandered, or purposely altered, to benefit Republicans.

With the new census underway, proponents of changing the system, like Heck,  want to see a non-partisan panel pick the districts. Heck says because of gerrymandering the districts are not likely to change. He thinks Republicans will retain control, draw their own maps, be vetoed by Governor Evers, which will toss it to the courts...

"A conservative law firm in Milwaukee has filed an action to try to ensure that when that happens, that when the new maps are drawn, it will go to the conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court..."

That legal action has not been determined to date. Heck says the Fair Map movement, the non-partisan panel, has public support...

"Statewide polls have shown up to three-quarters of all Wisconsinites support a non-partisan system, a Fair Maps system." 

More than a third of the counties in the state have passed resolutions supporting a Fair Map system. Heck says more referendums are on the county ballots in November.