By SCOTT BAUER
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republicans want to keep any legal battle over Wisconsin redistricting in the state Supreme Court, starting the legal fight over the redrawing of political boundary lines on Wednesday a full year before any new maps are created.
Former Republican Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, along with the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty law firm, submitted the legal filing with the state Supreme Court. It seeks a rule change to require that any legal challenges over redistricting be handled by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, not federal courts.
The state Supreme Court is currently controlled by conservatives. The Legislature is charged with redrawing state legislative and congressional boundary lines next year, following completion of the 2020 Census.
Democrats have accused Republicans of gerrymandering Wisconsin’s districts following the 2010 census, helping them retain majority control of the Legislature the past decade and hold five of the state’s eight congressional seats.
Even though Republicans currently control both the Senate and Assembly, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has the power to veto any map drawn passed by the Legislature. Most expect courts to have the final say.
Keeping any lawsuits in the state Supreme Court, as the rule change proposes, would seem to favor conservatives, given the current makeup of the court.