Return to News Jan 16, 2024

Voters Ask Wisconsin Supreme Court to Overturn ‘Lawless’ Congressional Map

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On January 16, Elias Law Group attorneys representing a group of Wisconsin voters filed a motion calling on the Supreme Court of Wisconsin to revisit the process the Court followed to adopt the Badger State’s current congressional map after the legislature and Governor were unable to agree on a congressional map following the 2020 census. In a separate redistricting case involving state legislative districts decided last month, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin expressly overruled the requirement it imposed in 2021 that judicially adopted maps must make the “least changes” possible to the prior decade’s configuration. The new motion argues that this decision warrants replacing the congressional map that resulted from the flawed “least change” requirement with a new, fair map for the remainder of the decade.

“Wisconsin’s current congressional map was drawn according to a ‘least change’ principle that perpetuated and exacerbated the partisan unfairness that has robbed Wisconsin voters of fair congressional districts for over a decade. Thankfully, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin recently overruled the requirement that courts adhere to a ‘least change’ approach to redistricting, noting that the practice is both unsound and unworkable. Wisconsin’s congressional map now has no basis in Wisconsin law or precedent, and the remedial process to adopt a new, lawful map must resume immediately,” said Elias Law Group Partner Abha Khanna.

“Absent a course correction, an avowedly lawless map will remain in effect until at least 2031 and will govern four rounds of congressional elections. That would subject the Hunter Intervenors-Petitioners—and all other Wisconsin voters—to a full decade of elections under a congressional map that lacks any basis in state law. Such a result cannot stand [...] Fortunately, there is still time to undo the damage by granting relief from judgment, inviting the parties to make new submissions, and selecting a map that fully complies with current Wisconsin law. Granting such relief will fulfill this Court’s constitutional duty to independently adjudicate the validity of Wisconsin’s congressional maps; failing to act will double down on a now-discredited legal principle and subject Wisconsin voters to a full decade under congressional maps that lack any basis in Wisconsin law,” the motion argues.

The motion calls for the adoption of a new congressional map that complies with current Wisconsin redistricting principles in time for the 2024 election.

Read the full motion here.