The U.S. Supreme Court overruled the Wisconsin Supreme Court Wednesday, saying the state court was wrong to choose Gov. Tony Evers’ legislative redistricting map over other proposals.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) joined Wisconsin Republican legislators in appealing the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision. In their March 7 application for stay and injunctive relief and petition for writ of certiorari and summary reversal, they called the governor’s proposal a racial gerrymander that violated the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause and claimed the Wisconsin Supreme Court did not apply strict scrutiny in its 4-3 decision.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling remands the case back to the Wisconsin Supreme Court for further proceedings, the release said.
“The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that Governor Evers’ legislative maps violate the equal protection guarantees of the U.S. Constitution by racially gerrymandering districts in the Milwaukee-area,” WILL President and General Counsel Rick Esenberg said in a news release Wednesday. “It made clear that this was not justified under the Voting Rights Act. This is a critical victory to ensure that our government not make decisions on the basis of race.”
Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented and said the court’s action is unprecedented, extraordinary and unnecessary.
“Despite the fact that summary reversals are generally reserved for decisions in violation of settled law, the Court today faults the State Supreme Court for its failure to comply with an obligation that, under existing precedent, is hazy at best. … The Wisconsin Supreme Court rightly preserved the possibility that an appropriate plaintiff could bring an equal protection or VRA challenge in the proper forum. … I would allow that process to unfold, rather than further complicating these proceedings with legal confusion through a summary reversal,” Sotomayor said.
In a separate order, without comment, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Wisconsin House Republicans’ request to overturn Evers’ and state justices’ congressional map.
This article was originally posted on U.S. Supreme Court reverses Wisconsin Supreme Court’s legislative redistricting map decision