Redistricting Advocates Forumulating New Strategy After Court Decision

Jul 18, 2019

Jay Heck, Ex. Dir. Common Cause of Wisconsin
Credit Common Cause of Wisconsin

A leading advocate for redrawing political election maps says a new effort to get the "Iowa model" is needed after the U.S. Supreme court said no thanks to determining the issue.

A bill which would require the Legislative Reference Bureau to draw district boundaries isn't expected to make it past Republican leadership next session. Two Democrats say they have three Republicans as co-sponsors.

Democrats tried to get the U-S Supreme Court to change the boundary lines for legislative districts earlier this year, but the justices said federal judges have no role in gerrymandering cases.

Jay Heck of Common Cause Wisconsin says the high court's decision was expected...

"When we started redistricting reform well over 10 years ago, we never thought the courts would be the solution. We thought the (U.S.) Supreme Court, because of a decision in 2004 was not going to be in favor of adjudicating partisan gerrymandering. It's up to legislators and the people who represent them to get this done. Not surprised, very disappointed...."

Heck says with the court decision, it creates new possibilities with a likely Republican legislature and a Democratic Governor...

"Unless there's a huge wave election, which we don't foresee right now, the legislature is controlled by Republicans. They will push forward partisan maps, they will try to do them like they did in 2011. The Governor will veto them. The question now in regards to the litigation, what happened in Wisconsin when that has happened in the past is they've gone to a federal court and the federal court has generally split the difference or come up with a compromise..."

Comments courtesy Wisconsin Eye.