“Supreme Court Rules: Wisconsin’s GOP-Backed Maps Must Go!
In a major victory for Democrats, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has overturned the legislative maps put forth by the state's Republican-controlled legislature. The maps, which had been in place since 2011, had been heavily gerrymandered to favor Republican candidates, but the court ruled that the maps "were designed to burden the representational rights of Democratic voters throughout the decennial period by impeding their ability to translate their votes into legislative seats." The ruling is a major victory for Democrats, as the Supreme Court’s decision forces the state’s Republican-controlled legislature to redraw the maps, potentially opening the door to more Democratic seats in the legislature. This could have major ramifications for the upcoming gubernatorial and senate races in the state. The decision comes after years of debate and legal wrangling over the maps. Both sides had appealed to the court after lower courts ruled that the maps were unconstitutional, with the Republican defendants arguing that partisanship does not equal unconstitutionality. However, the Supreme Court decided that the maps not only reflected partisanship but also violated the constitutional principle of one-person, one-vote. While the Supreme Court's ruling is a major victory for Democrats, it is unclear how quickly the state's legislature will act on redrawing the maps. Lawmakers have been stalling since the lower court's first ruling, and some Republican lawmakers have vowed to resist the Supreme Court's decision and continue to defend the current maps. Regardless of how quickly the legislature acts, the Supreme Court’s ruling is a victory for fair representation in Wisconsin, and a reminder of the importance of upholding the fundamental principles of democracy.