Wisconsin Supreme Court rejects Democratic challenge to congressional redistricting

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In a win for Republicans, the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday rejected a bid by Democrats to revisit the state’s congressional maps that were signed into law last month.

The brief order did not lay out the reasoning of the court’s majority, nor did it specify the position of each of the seven members.

The decision has ramifications for this year’s congressional elections in the swing state, where Republicans hold six of Wisconsin’s eight seats in the House.

Democrats had previously argued that the state’s high court should solicit “from the parties new congressional map proposals that comply with Wisconsin law.”

“Granting such relief will fulfill this Court’s constitutional duty to independently adjudicate the validity of Wisconsin’s congressional maps; failing to act will double down on a now-discredited legal principle and subject Wisconsin voters to a full decade under congressional maps that lack any basis in Wisconsin law,” the filing from earlier this year said.

The maps had been selected by the court in March 2022 and signed into law in February by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

Conservative Justice Rebecca Grassl Bradley on Friday bashed the court’s liberals, writing in a concurring opinion that the majority’s “reckless abandonment” of legal precedent “incentivizes litigants to bring politically divisive cases to this court regardless of their legal merit.”

“While the court rightfully denies this motion, it likely won’t be long until the new majority flexes its political power again to advance a partisan agenda despite the damage inflicted on the independence and integrity of the court,” she wrote.

Chief Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler, a conservative, joined the concurring opinion.

Justice Janet Protasiewicz did not participate in the order, according to the filing. Protasiewicz was elected to the court in 2023, giving liberals the majority on the bench.

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