redistricting

National Atlas of the United States / Department of Interior

Politically, Wisconsin has long been considered a “purple state.” Not Democratic or Republican; a swing state. But all that changed after the 2010 election, when Wisconsin voted a Republican majority into the state assembly. What happened next changed the course of state politics and undermined the very concept of democracy through what was considered a relatively benign practice - gerrymandering.

Wisconsin State Legislature

A three-judge federal panel on Friday told the Legislature to redraw Wisconsin's legislative boundaries and to complete the job by November. Opponents of the existing maps wanted judges to redraw them but are pleased that the federal panel is demanding change and yet this year.

Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Wisconsin is one of several states embroiled in a court battle over redistricting. Each state's case is different, yet commonalities are emerging over how much gerrymandering is allowed.

Gerrymandering means drawing political districts to gain an advantage.

For more than a quarter century, two legislative districts in North Carolina have been ground zero in a fight over race and redistricting. In the course of that time, Republicans have taken control of the state Legislature, and the two political parties have reversed their legal positions regarding the use of race and drawing district lines.

Wisconsin State Legislature

A three-judge federal panel ruled on Monday that the political boundaries state Republican legislators drew in 2011 violate the voting rights of Democrats. Wisconsin's Attorney  General says he plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wisconsin state Legislature

A federal trial begins Tuesday in Madison over the way state Republicans redrew Wisconsin’s political boundaries in 2011. 

A dozen Wisconsin residents who vote for Democrats are suing the state. They argue the boundaries are unconstitutional because they heavily favor Republicans.

Wisconsin State Legislature

A three-judge federal panel on Thursday refused to end a lawsuit challenging Wisconsin's redistricting of state legislative boundaries. So the case, which could ripple nationally, will go to trial from May 24-27 in federal court in Madison.

State Republicans drew the boundaries in 2011, insisting it was the GOP's right and duty after winning control of state government. Democrat litigants insist Republicans unconstitutionally gerrymandered the lines to benefit the GOP.

WISCONSIN STATE LEGISLATURE

For an update on this story, check out this April 2016 post: Federal Judges Ruling Moves Wisconsin Redistricting Lawsuit Forward

Original story from December 18, 2015:

Justin Kern

Redistricting has become a hot topic across the country. Two Wisconsin legislators will talk about the issue Monday at the state Capitol.