Democrats filed the first Wisconsin lawsuit related to the 2021 redistricting process on Friday, arguing a federal court should step in to draw the state’s next set of political maps because state lawmakers and Gov. Tony Evers are unlikely to reach a timely consensus on the matter.
The federal lawsuit comes just one day after the U.S. Census Bureau released the data necessary to begin the redistricting process. It argues the new population numbers show Wisconsin’s current state legislative and congressional districts are vastly out-of-date and that any partisan gridlock and delay in implementing new maps would compromise voters’ constitutional rights. It contends the court should immediately take jurisdiction over the mapmaking process and “establish a schedule that will enable the Court to adopt its own plans in the near-certain event that the political branches fail timely to do so.”
“There is no reasonable prospect that Wisconsin’s political branches will reach consensus to enact lawful legislative and congressional district plans in time to be used in the upcoming 2022 election,” the lawsuit reads.
I’m not sure how this lawsuit isn’t dismissed on ripeness grounds (asserting that there’s an injury in anticipation of the governor vetoing whatever the legislature might do), but I guess we’ll see if a federal court is inclined to find this sufficient to move forward.