Caitlin McKown/UW Applied Population Lab

Series: Gerrymandering, Wisconsin And The Courts

It's an unsavory truth in American democracy that politicians, to some extent, do get to choose their voters. The party in power often tries to draw state legislative and U.S. House of Representatives district maps to its own advantage, and courts have been reluctant to stop it unless there's strong evidence of racial discrimination. The Republican wave of election victories in 2010, and the increasing sophistication of redistricting software set the stage for an aggressive new batch of legislative maps in Wisconsin and other states. Multiple federal lawsuits challenging this redistricting followed. One court challenge arising from Wisconsin, Gill v. Whitford, set out to prove that partisan gerrymandering could violate voters' rights even if it wasn't racially discriminatory. The case reached the U. S. Supreme Court, and the resulting decision could trigger a seismic change in how political parties consolidate electoral power.
 
Months of waiting and guessing are customary in cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, and that cycle is hitting home in Wisconsin.
A WisContext report about partisan voting patterns in Wisconsin was cited in an amicus brief submitted by the Republican National Committee in Gill v. Whitford , a case appearing before the U.S. Supreme Court. Malia Jones of the UW Applied Population Lab discusses this report and what was argued in the amicus brief.
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As the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in the Gill v. Whitford lawsuit over partisan gerrymandering, WPR capitol bureau chief Shawn Johnson breaks down the case and shares his insight on where the justices are leaning.
Where Wisconsin's voters live and which political parties they support is at the heart of a major lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Wisconsin is at the center of what is shaping up to be a landmark legal decision about how electoral districts are determined and the role of partisanship in creating legislative district boundaries.
As voters in many states learn more about the ongoing practice and effects of partisan gerrymandering, a high-profile lawsuit originating in Wisconsin may have profound implications for how much a political party can do to keep itself in power.
The U.S. Supreme Court will rule on a Wisconsin case that could have major ramifications across the national political spectrum. Gill v. Whitford centers on a dispute over whether Wisconsin's Republican-drawn legislative boundaries constitute unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering.
Two federal judges ruled that the Wisconsin Legislature's Assembly district map unconstitutional, with a third dissenting. They ruled Assembly Republicans exhibited partisan gerrymandering beyond what is constitutional in creating these maps.
A federal trial will determine whether Wisconsin Assembly district boundaries the Republican-led Legislature redrew in 2011 are an unconstitutional gerrymander against voters for Democratic candidates.
One of the most far-reaching consequences of the 2010 midterm elections was that strong partisan majorities in state legislatures — Republican like Wisconsin and Democratic like Illinois — controlled the redrawing of congressional and state-level electoral districts.