Wisconsin Supreme Court, now liberally controlled, overturns Republican-leaning legislative maps

Ruthie Hauge/Pool/AP

The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear arguments during a redistricting hearing in November.


Wisconsin's Supreme Court ruled Friday that the state's legislative maps that favor Republicans are unconstitutional and ordered new lines drawn for the 2024 election.

The 4-3 decision, which overturns current maps in a key battleground state, has major implications for the 2024 election and comes after the Liberals. won control of the court this spring.

This includes the Wisconsin case Redistribution fights across the country It can determine control of governing bodies, from local governing bodies to state legislatures and the US House of Representatives.

Under the current Wisconsin map, although the Badger State is evenly divided politically, Republicans enjoy a large majority in the state Senate and a strong majority in the state Assembly.

In its ruling Friday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court said the state constitution requires districts to have “contiguous territory.”

“At least 50 of the 99 Assembly districts and at least 20 of the 33 Senate districts are in violation of this mandate. “Therefore, we order the Wisconsin Election Commission not to use the current maps in all future elections and, therefore, correct the 51 maps prior to the 2024 election,” the court wrote.

The court stated that all parties “will be given an opportunity to submit legislative district maps for settlement to the court, along with expert testimony and an explanation of how their maps conform to the principles contained in this opinion.” It appoints a consultant or consultants to help evaluate the settlement maps, and the parties respond to each other and to the consultant's report.

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“We set up this process to give all parties an opportunity to be heard, while keeping in mind the need for expediency as next year's elections are fast approaching,” the court wrote. “We're starting our process now instead of waiting to see if the legislative process produces new maps.”

The state high court also said it was ready to intervene if legislators did not act.

“We believe that the legislative process will create new legislative district maps,” the ruling said. “However, failing that, this court is prepared to accept settlement maps based on the criteria, process and dates set forth in this opinion and the concurrent order.”

Attorney Sam Hirsch, who argued on behalf of the petitioners, said his group “looks forward to working through the redress process to ensure that Wisconsinites receive fair representation in the state legislature for the first time in more than a decade.”

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, welcomed Friday's ruling, saying in a statement that “the gerrymander maps that Wisconsinites have endured for years will soon be history.”

“Wisconsin is a purple state, and I look forward to submitting maps to the court for consideration and review that reflect and represent the makeup of our state,” Evers said.

In her dissent, conservative Justice Annette Ziegler wrote: “The deal was sealed on election night. Although the four justices reviewed Wisconsin, this constitutional obligation must occur every ten years, after the census, by the other two branches of government.

Legislative boundaries were at the center of this spring's race for a key state Supreme Court seat. During the campaign, now-Judge Janet Prodasiewicz, a liberal-backed candidate, called the legislative maps “bad” and “unfair” and suggested the courts should evaluate their constitutionality.

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After he took office in August, pro-Democratic groups filed two lawsuits in the Wisconsin Supreme Court to throw out the Republican-drawn maps.

State Legislature Republicans have asked Protasiewicz to recuse himself from the cases, arguing he preempted them. State Assembly Speaker Robin Voss also floated the possibility of impeaching Protasiewicz if he does not recuse himself.

Voss reacted to Friday's ruling, saying “this case was a foregone conclusion before it was even brought.”

“A sad day for Wisconsin when the state Supreme Court ruled last year that existing taxes were constitutional,” he wrote in X. “Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court will have the last word.”

This story has been updated with additional details.

CNN's Eric Bradner and Brad Parks contributed to this report.

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