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Schimel Appeals Redistricting Case To SCOTUS

Lower Court Ruling Would Force Wisconsin Legislature To Redraw Its Maps By November

Shawn Johnson/WPR

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel has filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging a ruling that overturned the state’s Republican-drawn legislative districts.

In a first-of-its kind decision last year, a panel of federal judges ruled Wisconsin’s legislative map was a partisan gerrymander that was “intended to burden the rights of Democratic voters” by making it harder for them to translate votes into legislative seats.

In a separate order issued earlier this year, the court told lawmakers to redraw the map by Nov. 1 so it would be ready for the 2018 general election.

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In a filing with the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday, Schimel argued the lower court ruling had gone too far.

“This unprecedented decision violates this Court’s caselaw in several respects and should not be permitted to stand,” Schimel said in the filing, arguing that legislatures such as Wisconsin’s should be given deference by courts when they draw plans that adhere to traditional redistricting criteria.

Sachin Chheda with the Wisconsin Fair Elections Project, the group that helped organize the lawsuit to overturn the redistricting plan, said he was confident the Supreme Court would recognize Wisconsin’s maps were overly partisan.

“We are confident the U.S. Supreme Court will uphold the decision of the lower court and protect the fundamental democratic rights of Wisconsin voters to have meaningful elections,” Chheda said.

Wisconsin legislative leaders recently hired their own private law firms to get involved with the case.