GOP state lawmakers on Friday asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to stay its ruling putting Gov. Tony Evers’ maps in place for the 2022 election as they appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The filing argues the lines the court approved 4-3 are unconstitutional and don’t survive scrutiny under the Voting Rights Act.
Evers’ plan includes seven majority Black Assembly districts, each with a Black voting age population of between 50.1 percent and 51.4 percent. Those districts largely have a lower percentage of Black voters than the current six majority Black districts. The maps GOP lawmakers drew include five majority Black Assembly districts.
The filing argues the seven districts — the maximum that could be drawn in the Milwaukee area — constitute a racial gerrymander and the court’s rationale that there are “good reasons” under the Voting Rights Act for that many Black districts doesn’t meet the standards set by the U.S. Supreme Court to justify such a move.
“A redistricting plan cannot survive strict scrutiny based on a party’s mere assertion that an additional district is possible,” the filing argues.
The filing indicates GOP lawmakers plan to ask the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to hear their appeal.
The state Elections Commission has indicated in past court filings it needed the new lines by this past week so it can prepare for candidates to begin circulating nomination papers April 15. GOP lawmakers have countered they believe the deadline is closer to the end of April.
Lawmakers indicated in the Friday filing they expect an indication from the U.S. Supreme Court within two to three weeks on whether it plans to act on their request for emergency relief. The brief argues addressing what lawmakers call an unconstitutional gerrymander should supersede any concerns about preparing for primaries that won’t happen until August.
Read the filing.