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Expected reaction follows Wisconsin Supreme Court redistricting hearing

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(The Center Square) – There are no surprises among the reactions to the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s questions about drawing new political maps in the state.

A number of lawmakers and advocacy groups weighed in after the high court Tuesday heard arguments to redraw the state’s legislative maps.

The top Democrat in the Wisconsin Senate, Sen. Melissa Agard, D-Madison, said the redistricting case is “historic,” and “has the power to put voters back in control of our democracy.”

“For far too long, Republicans in power gerrymandered Wisconsin’s legislative maps to retain control rather than represent the will of the majority. It is shameful that for more than a decade, politicians in Wisconsin have chosen their voters, rather than voters choosing their representatives,” Agard said.

The top Republicans at the Wisconsin Capitol, Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, issued a joint statement that echoed the line of questioning from conservative justices.

“The petitioners waited two years to file their meritless redistricting claims – and yet they waited only one day after Justice Protasiewicz’s investiture. Now they want to give the parties mere weeks to litigate Democrats’ demand for new maps statewide,” the two said in a statement. “Rushing to upend the 2024 elections and cancel the terms of the 17 duly elected senators will prove this case to be the campaign promise that Justice Protasiewicz professed it wasn’t.”

A number of advocates also gave opinions.

Law Forward, the group driving the redistricting challenge, also offered thoughts.

“Gerrymandered maps have distorted the political landscape, stifling the voice of the voters,” said Dan Lenz, staff counsel for Law Forward. “It challenges the very essence of fair representation and the erosion of confidence in our political system. The outcome will have far-reaching consequences for Wisconsin’s democracy.”

“We are appreciative of the new court majority’s willingness to listen to the people of Wisconsin in a case where our rights and freedoms are at stake,” Chris Walloch, executive director of A Better Wisconsin Together, said. “Wisconsin’s current maps reflect a long history of partisan map drawing that enables right-wing politicians to rig the rules for their own benefit, while the issues Wisconsin voters care about have gone unaddressed.”

The high court listened to two hours of arguments Tuesday. There is no word when the court will issue a ruling.

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