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As Supreme Court takes Wisconsin gerrymandering case, next year’s elections could be mess



May be no time to redraw maps if current ones deemed unconstitutional.

Legislators in Wisconsin may be up against it come this time next year.

Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take the Wisconsin case on excessive partisanship in drawing legislative districts. In doing so, justices put on hold a lower court ruling to redraw those districts in time for next year’s elections.

That means no action until a high court decision on the case next year, which may make a mess out of those upcoming legislative races, says Matt Rothschild at the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

“Legislature should be doing what they were ordered to do months ago by the federal panel, which is start redrawing the maps,” Rothschild said. “There’s no evidence that they’ve been redrawing the maps yet.”

If the Supreme Court tosses the current legislative boundaries, Rothschild questions whether there will be time to draw new maps before next summer’s primary season. 

And, while waiting for the Supreme Court decision, that means next year’s political season will get underway with certain political boundaries in question.

“It’s a mess,” Rothschild said. “It’s a mess for democracy if people still have to operate under maps that are unconstitutionally drawn. So, that’s a real problem.

“That composes a burden on the people of Wisconsin as the federal panel said because we’ve been living under these unconstitutional maps now for 5-6 years.”

The high court is deciding a standard of where partisanship in redistricting becomes, “excessive.”  Arguments in front of the court will be this fall.