The Wisconsin Supreme Court embraced a redistricting plan crafted by Republican state lawmakers Friday, three weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out election maps drawn by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.
States must draw new election maps once a decade after each census to make sure legislative districts have equal populations. Where the lines go can confer advantages on one political party.
Evers and Republicans who control the Legislature couldn’t agree on new maps, so it fell to the state Supreme Court to decide on the districts. In a 4-3 ruling last month the justices picked Evers’ maps, which had a Republican tilt to them even though they were drawn by a Democrat. …
In Friday’s 4-3 ruling, the justices picked maps drawn by Republican lawmakers and explained why they now believed the state should not take race into account when drawing maps in Milwaukee.
The Republican maps reduce the number of Assembly districts in Milwaukee with Black majorities from six to five.
Democrats or their allies are likely to challenge those maps in federal court on the grounds that they don’t comply with the Voting Rights Act. With the election approaching so quickly, such a challenge may have to wait until after this fall’s elections.