The U.S. Supreme Court blocked new redistricting maps Wednesday for Wisconsin’s state legislature while upholding the state’s new federal congressional boundaries.
Previously, Republican members of the legislature filed the lawsuit, claiming the state judges “did not and could not have concluded that drawing districts based on race was required by federal law and satisfied strict scrutiny.”
According to the lawsuit, the boundaries selected by the state Supreme Court were a racial gerrymander.
“Wisconsinites will soon suffer irreparable injury once they are re-sorted into the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s redrawn, racially gerrymandered plan. Once a voter is made to vote in these race-based districts, as compared to the Legislature’s race-neutral districts, the harm is done,” the complaint detailed.
While reasoning was not provided for the congressional decision, the court cited issues with the Voting Rights Act when the Wisconsin Supreme Court selected the state-level map proposed by Governor Tony Evers.
“We agree that the court committed legal error in its application of decisions of this Court regarding the relationship between the constitutional guarantee of equal protection and the VRA. We accordingly construe the application for stay presented to Justice Barrett and by her referred to the Court as a petition for certiorari, grant the petition, reverse the imposition of the Governor’s State Assembly and Senate maps, and remand to the Wisconsin Supreme Court for proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion. Summarily correcting the error gives the court sufficient time to adopt maps consistent with the timetable for Wisconsin’s August 9th primary election,” the ruling striking down the state maps said.
The opinion added that the plan enacted “the sort of uncritical majority-minority district maximization that we have expressly rejected.”
The maps must now be reconsidered by state officials.
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