Wisconsin Supreme Court experts reject Republican, Democratic maps

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(The Center Square) – Experts hired by Wisconsin’s supreme court to redraw the state’s political maps say there won’t be anymore Republican gerrymandering.

The court’s outside experts rejected maps drawn by Republican lawmakers and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. The experts said both maps continued to gerrymander the state for Republicans.

The experts did say WILL’s maps performed “very well on traditional good government criteria,” including the best results on “the splits of political subdivisions.” But the pair claimed WILL’s maps were guilty of “stealth gerrymandering.”

“The report hides its bias behind a fog of faux sophistication. Let’s be clear, our maps have been rejected for one reason and one reason alone, they don’t produce the partisan outcomes the experts or many on the court want,” WILL’s Rick Esenberg said. “So, they ignore all the traditional tests to distinguish partisan bias from political geography. It is what [U.S. Supreme Court] Chief Justice [Jon] Roberts has called social science gobbledygook: Obfuscation that hides one’s preferences so that it needn’t be justified.”

The experts also did not recommend any of the maps drawn by Democrats, though their report did offer to draw new maps of their own.

“If the court were to instruct us to create such a map, we are poised to produce it quickly,” the experts wrote.

Gov. Tony Evers said the experts’ rejection of the Republican maps mean a critical change in Wisconsin.

“The days of Wisconsinites living under some of the most gerrymandered maps in the country are numbered,” Evers said.

The supreme court says Republicans, WILL and the Democratic map makers now have a week to respond to the report.

Wisconsin will need new legislative maps by March 15 if they are going to be used in this year’s elections.

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