Election Law Expert: SCOTUS Should 'Stomp On' Wisconsin Redistricting Ruling


By M.D. Kittle, MacIver News Service | June 20, 2017

[Madison, Wis...] - The U.S. Supreme Court has the opportunity to "stomp on" a badly flawed lower court decision declaring unconstitutional Wisconsin's legislative district map, according to a national expert on the Constitution.

What's ultimately at stake, according to the Heritage Foundation's Hans von Spakovsky, is whether federal courts should have control over a political process that is rightly the domain of the states.

On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, the first such "partisan gerrymandering" case in more than a decade. A few hours later the court voted 5-4 to delay a federal district court's order that Wisconsin's legislative districts be redrawn by November, in advance of the 2018 elections.

"I hope this means the Supreme Court is going to reverse what the federal court in Wisconsin did, because what they did was, frankly, just wrong," von Spakovsky, a former member of the Federal Elections Commission, told MacIver News Service Tuesday morning on the Dan O'Donnell Show on Newstalk 1130 WISN.

Democrats lost control of the Legislature and the governor's office in 2010, thereby losing the ability to be involved in the creation of congressional and legislative maps. The process follows the release of the decennial census, and in Wisconsin the party in power is charged with redrawing the legislative district boundaries.

Dems have challenged the GOP-drawn maps since their initial release nearly six years ago.

In November, a three-judge federal court panel struck down the GOP map, agreeing with the plaintiffs that the boundaries were unfair to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. The judges said the redistricting effort was "designed to make it more difficult for Democrats, compared to Republicans, to translate their votes into seats." 


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