Federal District Court Finds Partisan Gerrymander in Wisconsin Assembly Map

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 ,  Salon.com, 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.


Categories: Gerrymanders, LATEST, Lawsuits, Redistricting

Tags: , ,

7 replies


  1. Efficiency Gap Analysis Gets This Early Critique from Princeton Professor – Redistrictingonline.org
  2. Briefs on Timing of a Remedy Filed in Wisconsin Partisan Gerrymandering Case – Redistrictingonline.org
  3. The Efficiency Gap Visualized Through the Decades – Redistrictingonline.org
  4. Michigan Launches Anti-Gerrymandering Campaign on Four Fronts – RedistrictingOnline.org
  5. Everything You Wanted to Know About the Wisconsin Partisan Gerrymandering Case in One Infographic
  6. Listen: Supreme Court Oral Argument in Wisconsin Partisan Gerrymandering Case Whitford v. Gill
  7. Watch: UW Professor Reviews Wisconsin Partisan Gerrymandering Case in Detail

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