US Supreme Court won’t end Wisconsin redistricting lawsuit

The U.S. Supreme Court this week rejected a lawsuit from Wisconsin Republicans seeking to kill a redistricting case brought by Democrats, keeping hope alive for liberals that they can seek to block GOP-drawn maps through the federal courts.

The nation’s highest court on Monday denied hearing the lawsuit filed by Republican state lawmakers. They wanted the Supreme Court to dismiss the Democrats’ case, which attempts to have federal courts draw the state’s political boundary lines.

The decision means that liberals will still have a chance to fight for the maps they want in federal court after the conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court issues its ruling, likely early next year.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has given both sides to submit potential maps by Dec. 15, with arguments planned in January. The court last month ruled 4-3 in favor of Republicans by saying it will only consider maps that make as few changes as possible to the current district lines that were drawn by Republicans a decade ago and solidified their control of the state Legislature.

Because of that ruling, Gov. Tony Evers will not be submitting a map to the court that was drawn by a commission he created to come up with a nonpartisan plan, his spokeswoman Britt Cudaback said Friday. Instead, the governor will follow the court’s order to submit a map that adheres as closely as possible to the current lines, she said.

Evers last month vetoed the maps passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Redistricting is the once-a-decade process of redrawing the state’s political boundaries based on the latest census showing how populations have changed in neighborhoods, cities and counties since 2010. Mapmakers can create an advantage for their political party in future elections by packing opponents’ voters into a few districts or spreading them thin among multiple districts — a process known as gerrymandering.

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