Wisconsin Supreme Court adopts GOP-drawn legislative maps

Litigation Reports

The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday adopted Republican-drawn maps for the state Legislature, handing the GOP a victory just weeks after initially approving maps drawn by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

The court reversed itself after the U.S. Supreme Court in March said Evers’ maps were incorrectly adopted, and came just as candidates were about to begin circulating nominating papers to appear on this year’s ballot without being sure of district boundaries.

Democrats would have made some marginal gains under Evers’ plan, but Republicans were projected to maintain their majorities in the Assembly and Senate, according to an analysis from the governor’s office.

Evers’ map created seven majority-Black state Assembly districts in Milwaukee, up from the current six. The map from the Republican-controlled Legislature had just five. The Wisconsin Supreme Court had adopted Evers’ map on March 3, but the U.S. Supreme Court overturned it on March 23. The high court ruled that Evers’ map failed to consider whether a “race-neutral alternative that did not add a seventh majority-black district would deny black voters equal political opportunity.”

Evers told the state Supreme Court it could still adopt his map with some additional analysis, or an alternative with six majority-Black districts. The Republican-controlled Legislature argued that its map should be implemented.

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