Madison – Today, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Gill v. Whitford, a case brought forward by a group of Wisconsin voters who have argued that the process in which Republican legislators redrew legislative maps after the 2010 census represents an unconstitutional political gerrymander. The map drawing process was done behind closed doors, included secrecy oaths, and has been roundly criticized by political scientists, lawyers, and elected officials from across the country and political spectrum.
The plaintiffs have successfully petitioned lower courts to recognize the unconstitutional nature of the Republican-drawn maps and the United States Supreme Court is hearing the case on appeal with the opportunity to establish national precedent on the matter. Assistant Assembly Democratic Leader, Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton) released the following statement in anticipation of the start of oral arguments:
“Today is a good day for our democracy. The United States Supreme Court will, after hearing oral arguments today, have the opportunity to unrig Wisconsin’s legislative maps and set a national precedent with regards to how legislative lines should be drawn to ensure voters’ voices are not nullified and silenced by rigged legislative maps.
“Republicans in the legislature have rigged the system to maintain their power in Wisconsin. Now, the highest court in the land has the opportunity to weigh in on whether or not their actions represent an unconstitutional political gerrymander. I want to thank the plaintiffs who have tirelessly fought, and won this case in lower courts, for their voice at the ballot box in Wisconsin.”