By Ana Martinez-Ortiz
When it comes to redistricting, making a map that is fair and pleases everyone is hard to do. It’s a problem that plagues cities and states alike and the road to an approved map is often long, but Wisconsin is in luck.
On Thursday, March 3, the Wisconsin Supreme Court approved the congressional maps submitted by Gov. Tony Evers. The decision was 4-3 after Justice Brian Hagedorn voted with liberals over the conservatives.
Hagedorn, who wrote the statement for the majority, noted that the maps approved in 2011 “cannot constitutionally serve as the basis for future elections.”
In the court’s ruling, Hagedorn explained the decision saying, “The Governor’s proposed senate and assembly maps produce less overall change than other submissions. We also conclude that Governor Evers’ proposals satisfy the requirements of the state and federal constitutions.”
The maps are similar to those that have been in place since 2011. While there are a few differences, overall, the Republican majorities remain.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, of the 99 Assembly seats about 60 will lean Republican and of the 33 Senate seats, 22 will lean Republicans.
Following the court’s decision, Evers released a statement.
“Hell yes,” he said. “The maps I submitted to the Court that were selected today are a vast improvement from the gerrymandered maps Wisconsin has had for the last decade and the even more gerrymandered Republican maps that I vetoed last year.”
Evers noted that there is still a long way to go, but he will continue the fight as long as he is governor.
In a statement on Twitter, Attorney General Josh Kaul wrote, “This is a historic victory for democracy in Wisconsin. It will mean much fairer maps than we’ve had in place for the last decade, re-empowering many voters. To be clear, there is more work to be done: the least-changes standard effectively prevented the adoption of truly fair maps.”
In his subsequent tweet, Kaul, like Evers, noted the fight is not over but it is a step in the right direction.
These approved maps will be in place until the next census, which is set to take place in 2030. According to the Journal Sentinel, the maps will be used in the upcoming Aug. 9 election.
“Today’s ruling isn’t a victory for me or any political party, but for the people of our state who for too long have demanded better, fairer maps and for too long went ignored,” Evers said. “Today’s victory is for them.”