State of Wisconsin

Wisconsin Legislative Redistricting Challenge (Wright)

Wright v. Wisconsin Elections Commission

Petition filed on behalf of Wisconsin voters — many of whom are “computational redistricting” experts who use “high-performance computers to draw maps that attempt to optimize multiple redistricting criteria” — challenging the state’s legislative maps drawn following the release of 2020 census data. The petitioners rely on data analysis to allege that the Wisconsin state Assembly and Senate maps districts are extreme partisan gerrymanders that unduly favor Republicans in violation of the state constitution. The petitioners argue that Wisconsin’s legislative districts violate multiple provisions of the state constitution, including the constitution’s guarantee of equal protection, free speech and association and free government as well as the redistricting requirements set forth in the state constitution. 

The petitioners also contend that the legislative districts violate the state constitution’s separation of powers rule, since the districts — which were ultimately imposed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in April 2022 — are the very same maps that the governor vetoed and the Legislature failed to override. “[T]his Court effectively overrode the Governor’s veto to effectively enact the Legislature’s plans into law, ignoring the Constitution’s rule that only the Legislature, by a two-thirds vote of both houses, can override a gubernatorial veto,” the petition states. The petitioners ask the Wisconsin Supreme Court to block the current legislative maps and order new, fairer maps for future elections that comply with the Wisconsin Constitution. Finally, the petitioners ask the court to order special elections in 2024 for certain state senators whose terms would not otherwise expire until 2027, arguing that these lawmakers were elected under unconstitutional maps. On Oct. 6, 2023, the Wisconsin Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

Case Documents

Last updated: