Wisconsin Supreme Court refuses to reconsider order for new legislative maps

Republican lawmakers asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to put on hold its ruling ordering the drawing of new legislative maps, saying they couldn't meet the deadline, but justices voted 4-3 to reject the request.

Associated Press

January 12, 2024

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From left to right, Jill Karofsky, Rebecca Dallet, and Ann Walsh Bradley sit at a judicial dais in a row of high-backed leather chairs behind them, in a room with marble masonry and a U.S. flag.

Justices Jill Karofsky, Rebecca Dallet and Ann Walsh Bradley, three of the four liberal members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, participate in a hearing on Sept. 7, 2023. The high court voted 4-3 on Jan. 11, 2024, to reject a request from Republican lawmakers to reconsider its ruling ordering new legislative district maps. (Credit: PBS Wisconsin)

AP News

By Scott Bauer, AP

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The liberal-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court on Jan. 11 refused to reconsider its ruling ordering the drawing of new legislative maps, rejecting a request from Republican lawmakers to put its December order on hold.

The court ruled 4-3 on Dec. 22 that the current maps, drawn by Republicans, are unconstitutional and must be redone in time for the November election. Jan. 12 is the deadline for parties in the lawsuit, which includes state lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, to submit new maps.

Consultants hired by the Supreme Court will review those submissions and issue their own report, and perhaps their own maps, by Feb. 1. State elections officials have said maps must be in place by March 15 to be in play for the 2024 election.

Republican lawmakers asked the court to put its ruling on hold, saying they couldn’t make the Jan. 12 deadline to submit maps. They also argued that 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.

But the court on Jan. 11 voted 4-3 to reject the request, with the court’s four-justice liberal majority voting to deny it.

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.

The court ruled in December 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.

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