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Court Orders Wisconsin Legislature to Redraw Political Boundaries

Wisconsin State Legislature
Map of Wisconsin Assembly Districts

A three-judge federal panel on Friday told the Legislature to redraw Wisconsin's legislative boundaries and to complete the job by November. Opponents of the existing maps wanted judges to redraw them but are pleased that the federal panel is demanding change and yet this year.

Last November, the judges ruled that the redistricting plan the Republican majority adopted following the 2010 census was unconstitutional. The panel concluded that the boundaries packed Democratic and Republican voters into districts in a way that virtually assured GOP control, particularly of the Assembly. At the time, the panel did not order any remedy.

Supporters of the plan expressed satisfaction after Friday's ruling, that the federal panel left the job of setting political boundaries in the Legislature's hands.

In many past decades, Wisconsin's state government was divided politically, so the job of reapportionment was turned over to judges.

The U.S. Supreme Court could eventually consider the bigger issue Wisconsin is litigating- when might gerrymandering cross constitutional lines regarding the value of votes.

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