Divided Wisconsin Court Order Favors Maps Republicans Prefer

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled 4 to 3 Tuesday that it doesn’t have the authority to address fairness or perceived gerrymandering when it decides final state legislative and congressional redistricting maps, a decision that likely will help Republicans retain their majorities in both chambers of the Wisconsin Legislature.

The order spells out how the court will rule on existing disputes about completing new maps following the release of 2020 U.S. Census Bureau data.

The court said it will only make changes to the maps based on population shifts. Democrats had hoped for big changes to existing maps that they say heavily favor the GOP.

“Claims of political unfairness in the maps present political questions, not legal ones,” Justice Rebecca Grassl Bradley wrote in Tuesday’s order. “Such claims have no basis in the constitution or any other law and therefore must be resolved through the political process and not by the judiciary.”

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To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Joyce in Chicago at sjoyce@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tina May at tmay@bloomberglaw.com