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Rep. Gary Hebl, (608) 266-7678
(Madison) – Rep. Gary Hebl (D-Sun Prairie) issued the following statement regarding today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Gill v. Whitford, the gerrymandering case involving Wisconsin’s partisan-drawn legislative districts:
I am disappointed in today’s decision by the Supreme Court to remand the case to lower courts. For the last several years, numerous courts have found both parties engaging in partisan gerrymandering in order to ensure majorities in state legislatures and the House of Representatives. We had a chance as a country to say that this was wrong, that citizens should pick their representatives and not the other way around. However, the Supreme Court decided to punt on the issue, sending it back to lower courts so that the plaintiffs can prove standing.
For too long, Republicans, both in Washington, DC and here in Wisconsin, have run roughshod over the will of the people, maintaining power even though they receive fewer votes. In 2012, Democrats across the country garnered 50.3% of the major party votes in races for the House of Representatives, yet won only 46.2% of the seats in the House. In the same year in Wisconsin, Democrats won 53% of the statewide vote in Assembly races, yet came away winning only 39% of the seats up for election. And, perhaps most notably, Hillary Clinton won 3 million more votes than Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, yet lost the presidency.
Despite continuing to have more people wanting Democrats to control government, Republicans continue to maintain power. Gerrymandering has had a huge impact on that. Unfortunately because of today’s decision, we have no clear solution. I fear that the will of the majority of voters will continue to be undermined by partisan legislators that care more about keeping their jobs than representing the people they should be listening to.
We must continue to fight for redrawing district lines in a non-partisan way, because it seems that the Supreme Court is not willing to make the tough decisions that would enshrine fair representation.