Redistricting: Governor Petitions Wisconsin Supreme Court to Accept SCOTUS Invite

by Mary Stroka


Gov. Tony Evers on Thursday asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to take the U.S. Supreme Court’s invitation to accept more evidence if it wishes to reconsider his state legislative maps.

The nation’s highest court on Wednesday reversed and remanded the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s March 3 decision to adopt Evers’ proposal, calling the first-term Democrat’s maps a racial gerrymander that violated the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.

Assistant Attorney General Anthony Russomanno wrote in the Thursday letter on behalf of Evers that the governor wants the Wisconsin Supreme Court to give him and Republican legislators until April 1 to submit reports and briefing on the Voting Rights Act issues the U.S. Supreme Court raised and allow some time for response.

“No other path is tenable, as the preexisting maps are indisputably unconstitutional statewide, and this Court already observed that the Legislature’s proposal posed problems under the VRA,” Russomanno said, referring to the Voting Rights Act. “Further, and importantly, the Legislature’s proposal significantly underperformed on the Court’s key principle of least changes, measured through core retention, where the Governor’s Assembly map was ‘vastly superior.’ … Neither the preexisting maps nor the Legislature’s proposal are available fallbacks but rather would lead to further federal litigation and would conflict with this Court’s decisions.”

Otherwise, Evers can propose six, instead of seven, majority-minority Black districts while improving upon the maps’ performance on least changes, Russomanno said. There were five Black-majority districts in Milwaukee in the Legislature’s map.

Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Riley Vetterkind said that until the Wisconsin Supreme Court adopts new maps, candidates for the fall election risk collecting nomination signatures from voters who may not be within their district, which would render them invalid, The Associated Press reported. Candidates can begin circulating nomination papers April 15.

While the U.S. Supreme Court adopted Evers’ congressional maps Wednesday, Wisconsin Republicans asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court Wednesday to allow them to submit a new congressional map, the AP reported.

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Mary Stroka is a contributor to The Center Square. 
Photo “Tony Evers” by Tony Evers.



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