Wisconsin – A federal district court last November found Wisconsin’s 2011 Republican-drawn state assembly map to be an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. That almost never happens. Both sides in the case filed briefs last week on the issue of whether to get started right away on a replacement map or to wait for the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the case.
Plaintiffs insist that there have already been several elections under the “illegal” map. Defendants argue a more nuanced position; “The novelty of this court’s decision makes it extremely likely that the Supreme Court will either reverse entirely or provide substantial additional guidance, which guidance would then shape whatever new plan the legislature would adopt…”
The “novelty” defendants speak of is the use of the Efficiency gap measure to determine whether a partisan gerrymander is an unconstitutional one. The Wisconsin judge panel was the first to adopt this method/measure as a key part of its decisionmaking.