Wisconsin Challenge to State’s Redistricting Scheme Can Move Forward, District Court Rules

CLC Staff
Apr 7, 2016
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Whitford v. Nichol Partisan Gerrymandering Case to Go to Trial

A Wisconsin district court ruled today that 12 regular Wisconsin voters, represented by the Campaign Legal Center, can have their day in court to challenge the state’s 2012 partisan gerrymander, which unconstitutionally drew district lines in a way that would keep Republican control of the state’s legislature.

“The Campaign Legal Center is proud to serve as co-counsel to Wisconsin residents and Democratic voters who are challenging one of the worst partisan gerrymanders in modern American history,” said Gerry Hebert, executive director of the Campaign Legal Center. “The plaintiffs look forward to presenting evidence at trial showing that the plan was drawn in secret, in consultation with a political scientist and without any input from Democrats, in an attempt to maximize Republican wins and minimize Democratic influence over the political process for as long as the plan was in place.”

Though the U.S. Supreme Court has made clear that excessive partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional and can be addressed by the courts, the Supreme Court has yet to develop a judicially manageable standard for courts to use in deciding these cases. 

“In denying Wisconsin’s motion for summary judgment and setting the case for trial next month, the three-judge court  has left it to us to develop a workable standard that reflects a voter’s right to fair and effective representation, and that’s exactly what we plan to do,” said Ruth Greenwood, senior redistricting counsel for the Campaign Legal Center

Read the order and opinion.

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