WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Aug. 23, a petition was filed in the Wisconsin Supreme Court by the conservative group Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) on behalf of voters challenging Wisconsin’s congressional and legislative district maps following the release of 2020 census data. The petitioners argue that the state’s current maps are malapportioned in violation of the constitutional principle of one person, one vote and ask the court to require that new maps are used for future elections. The suit also asks the court to intervene in the redistricting process in the event that either maps passed by the Wisconsin Legislature are challenged or the state government fails to enact new maps in time for the 2022 election.
This case follows a similar redistricting case filed immediately after the release of the 2020 census data. The first case was filed by Democratic voters in federal district court and asks the court to declare the state’s current maps unconstitutional and implement new maps that adhere to the constitutional requirement of one person, one vote. In comparison, the case filed by WILL asks the Wisconsin Supreme Court, rather than federal court, to assume control of the redistricting process if necessary, arguing that “although the federal and state courts have concurrent jurisdiction to decide redistricting matters, the U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that the states’ role is primary.” Conservative justices currently have a slim majority in the state Supreme Court.