Wisconsin Supreme Court finally weighs in on redistricting (by punting)

In July of 2011, the Wisconsin legislature passed new district lines, in a hurry.  (Though activity had not been scheduled to resume before September, the legislature reconvened in extraordinary session on July 19, and passed both state and federal maps by July 20.)

The Wisconsin Supreme Court wasn’t in such a rush. The new maps were challenged in federal court, and that lawsuit effectively drew its own challenge in state court, with a petition seeking a declaration that the maps were valid, and that they would apply to recall elections in the spring of 2012.  (The filings, catalogued on my site, amount to a forum battle, with the parties variously trying to get a first ruling out of a Waukesha trial court, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and a three-judge federal court. Fascinating for procedural junkies — and I’m one — but fairly impenetrable otherwise.)

The Wisconsin Supreme Court gathered in all the state filings, which presented some intriguing statutory interpretation and jurisdictional questions, at the minimum.  And it sat.  The case was fully briefed by December 13, 2011. (The federal case was resolved by April 2012.)  Today, the SCOW (SCOWI?) dismissed its cases as moot.

Passive virtues, indeed.

For those keeping score, there are still 31 cases left, of the 206 lawsuits concerning state or federal redistricting this cycle.  So far.


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