Third Lawsuit Filed Over Wisconsin Maps
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Aug. 23, a third lawsuit was filed in Wisconsin to ensure the state enacts new maps before the next election cycle. This is the second lawsuit filed in federal district court regarding Wisconsin’s redistricting process; the remaining suit was filed in the Wisconsin Supreme Court. This complaint, brought on behalf of Black Leaders Organizing for Communities, Voces de la Frontera, League of Women Voters of Wisconsin and individual voters, alleges that the release of new census data has made the current state legislative maps unconstitutionally malapportioned. The suit asks that the court prohibit the use of current district maps in future elections and implement new maps that fairly and constitutionally represent Wisconsin’s current population. The complaint points out that Wisconsin has a long history of “partisan gridlock” when it comes to enacting new maps, often requiring court intervention. The current political divide between the Republican-controlled Legislature and Democratic governor over significant policy issues, the complaint argues, further suggests that the state will not pass new legislative maps in time for the 2022 election cycle, potentially depriving Wisconsin voters of their constitutional right to cast an equal vote.
The complaint also references the first Wisconsin redistricting case filed in federal court by Democratic voters to support its claims, arguing that, along with “past practice” and the “current partisan divide Wisconsin’s government,” the “pending action by Democratic voters alleging a malapportionment in state legislative districts all strongly indicate that legislative impasse over new state legislative districts will occur, and that once again the federal court will be required to resolve the conflict.” Earlier today, the conservative group Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty filed a petition in the Wisconsin Supreme Court on behalf of voters asking the state court — which has a conservative majority — to assume control of the redistricting process if necessary.