Three weeks after Democrat-drawn redistricting maps were presented by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D), the Wisconsin Supreme Court has instead decided to use a Republican-drawn version of the map, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Justice Brian Hagedorn of the state’s Supreme Court sided with conservative justices in the 4–3 decision, with the outlet reporting that the “ruling came at one of the last possible moments, falling on the day that candidates could begin circulating petitions to get on the ballot.”
An analysis from December indicated that the Republican version of the map, which will now be adopted, greatly benefits Republican candidates, with “63 of the 99 Assembly seats and 23 of the 33 Senate seats leaning toward the GOP,” the Journal-Sentinel noted.
While the new maps will undoubtedly be immediately used in the upcoming primary and other immediate elections, the outlet noted that legal battles that are expected to unfold in the coming months and years could drastically alter the maps again.
The decision by the state’s high court triggered a massive backlash on social media, with a number of high-profile Democrats and political operatives expressing anger over the decision.
I am incredibly disappointed that after an unprecedented action by the US Supreme Court, the conservative majority of the Wisconsin State Supreme Court imposed an even more unrepresentative, gerrymandered legislative map. This decision was nakedly political and undemocratic. (🧵)
— Representative Greta Neubauer (@RepGreta) April 15, 2022
“Prolonging the pandemic, supporting the terrorist insurrection & trying to overturn the election wasn’t enough for the Wisconsin Republicans so now they’re going to get the four GOPers on the WI Supreme Court to toss Dem candidates from the ballot over nomination papers, Democratic pundit Scot Ross tweeted.
It should be noted that the high court’s decision only affects races for the state legislature.
Only time will tell if Democrats mount a legal challenge to change the maps once again, but for now, it appears as if state-level Republican candidates have a strong advantage, and they’ll not hesitate to use it.