Federal District Court Finds Partisan Gerrymander in Wisconsin Assembly Map

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wisconsinact43-assemblydistrictsWisconsin –  A three-judge federal district court in Wisconsin has invalidated the Republican-drawn state assembly district map enacted in August 2011 as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.  If the ruling stands – and that’s a very big “IF,” this case will be the first successful approach to creating a workable standard for courts to use in determining whether a partisan gerrymander rises to the level of impermissible gerrymandering under the first amendment and equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.  Read more in the New York Times ,, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Rick Hasen’s Electionlawblog.        Read the District Court Opinion.

                      Key Info

– The maps were complaint with traditional redistricting principles, but the majority opinion details defendants’ copious use of “composite partisan scoring” for all of the maps it considered.

– After enactment of the assembly map, In 2012, the Republican Party received 48.6% of the two-party statewide vote share for Assembly candidates and won 60 of the 99 seats in the Wisconsin Assembly. In 2014, the Republican Party received 52% of the two-party statewide vote share and won 63 assembly seats.

– The court invalidated the legislature’s 2012 map but delayed its decision on whether to establish a remedial map of its own.

– The court also deferred a decision on whether to grant plaintiff’s motion to enjoin the state from seating newly elected legislators from the disputed map.

– The majority opinion was based in part on its acceptance of a new measurement standard proposed by plaintiffs referred to as Efficiency Gap Analysis.

– This case is very likely to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on direct appeal.  The outcome could hinge on a new appointee of the incoming Trump administration.


Tagged as: , ,

Categorised in: Gerrymanders, LATEST, Lawsuits, Redistricting

4 Responses »


  1. Efficiency Gap Analysis Gets This Early Critique from Princeton Professor –
  2. Briefs on Timing of a Remedy Filed in Wisconsin Partisan Gerrymandering Case –
  3. The Efficiency Gap Visualized Through the Decades –
  4. Michigan Launches Anti-Gerrymandering Campaign on Four Fronts –

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