The News: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) has released a statement condemning a new ruling from the Supreme Court of Wisconsin in favor of a lawsuit seeking to change Wisconsin's Legislative Districts. WILL sees this lawsuit as an attempt to relitigate issues resolved just a year and a half ago – utilizing a new ‘left of center’ majority on the state’s highest Court.
The Quotes: Rick Esenberg, WILL President and General Counsel, stated, "Petitioners used a trojan horse – municipal islands that have existed for decades, affect very few voters and could not be the cause of any alleged partisan bias, to upend maps that the Court approved in 2022. We now face a truncated process in which the parties must submit new maps and comment on those submitted by others and address an undefined standard called 'partisan fairness.' This is an unusual episode but WILL will strive to ensure that whatever emerges from the process will both comport with the law and Wisconsin’s political geography, as the Constitution requires, rather than a gerrymander for a partisan outcome.”
WILL's Efforts Protecting Lawful Redistricting: Although the issues surrounding decennial redistricting were resolved by the Wisconsin Supreme Court just a year and a half ago, Petitioners sought to re-litigate that case. They asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to declare the current maps unconstitutional, draw new maps from scratch. The court has now agreed to do just that.
WILL intervened on behalf of voters from multiple state senate districts who would see their vote disenfranchised if the Court grants the remedy sought by the lawsuit.
WILL has been on the forefront of litigation regarding legislative boundaries in Wisconsin. In August of 2021, WILL filed an original action in Johnson v. Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC), asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to update the legislative districts to address population changes, given that the Legislature and Governor were unable to agree on new maps. WILL successfully argued that the Wisconsin Supreme Court should make the “least changes” possible to update the maps, to prevent the Court from getting embroiled in partisan considerations. And, when maps proposed by Governor Evers violated the federal law, we successfully petitioned to the Supreme Court of the United States.