Republican lawmakers ask Wisconsin Supreme Court to reconsider redistricting ruling, maps timeline

Attorneys representing a host of Republican state senators in Wisconsin filed a motion with the state Supreme Court saying they can't meet a deadline for delivering new legislative district maps after the boundaries were found to be unconstitutional.

Associated Press

December 29, 2023

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State senators sit at wood desks arranged in a semi-circle and listen to another senator conduct the session from a wooden legislative dais, in a room with marble masonry and pillars, large paintings, and a second-story observation gallery.

The Wisconsin Senate meets for a session on June 28, 2023, at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison. On Dec. 29, attorneys representing multiple Republican state senators filed a motion with the Wisconsin Supreme Court asking justices to stay the court's order that new legislative district maps be produced by Jan. 12, 2024. (Credit: PBS Wisconsin)

AP News

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican lawmakers have asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to stay and reconsider its finding that the state’s legislative district boundaries are unconstitutional.

Attorneys representing a host of Republican state Senators filed a motion with the court on Dec. 29 saying they can’t meet the court’s Jan. 12 deadline for new maps. They also argue the court didn’t listen to their arguments in the case and didn’t give them a chance to respond to the deadline for new boundaries. They asked the court to stay all proceedings until it decides on the motion.

The legislative electoral maps drawn by the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2011 cemented the party’s majorities, which now stand at 64-35 in the Assembly and a 22-11 supermajority in the Senate.

Democrats filed a lawsuit in August arguing the maps are unconstitutional and give the GOP an unfair advantage. They filed the action a day after liberal Justice Janet Protasiewicz was sworn in, flipping the court’s majority to 4-3 liberal control.

The court ruled on Dec. 22 that the current boundaries are unconstitutional because they aren’t contiguous. Many districts include sections of land that aren’t connected, resulting in maps that resemble Swiss cheese.

The court ordered the Legislature and other parties involved in the lawsuit to produce new maps by Jan. 12, with supporting arguments due 10 days later. The court likely will release new maps sometime in late February or early March unless the Legislature acts first.

State elections officials have said maps must be in place by March 15 to be in play for the 2024 election.

The Supreme Court gave attorneys representing the Democrats until Jan. 4 to file responses to the motion. Doug Poland, one of their attorneys, declined comment on Dec. 29. Two other attorneys representing the Democrats, Daniel Lenz and Jeffrey Mandell, didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

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