by Henry Redman, Wisconsin Examiner
April 1, 2022
The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday denied a motion from Gov. Tony Evers requesting to add information to the court record in the case to determine Wisconsin’s new political maps.
Early last month, the court ruled that maps submitted by Evers most complied with constitutional and legal standards and the parameters set by the justices. After an appeal by the Republican-held state Legislature, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Evers’ legislative maps did not comply with the Voting Rights Act and sent the case back to the state court to re-decide.
The court allowed Evers’ proposed congressional maps to stand.
The initial state court decision was seen as a partial victory for groups and voters who have been fighting against Wisconsin’s heavily gerrymandered maps for the last decade.
The U.S. Supreme Court decision is tailored so the state court can make some minor adjustments to the Evers maps.
Now that the case is back in the state court, Evers filed a motion on Thursday to supplement the record, but the motion was denied.
Dismal outlook on the Wisconsin Supreme Court
Jacob Malinowski, a spokesperson for the Wisconsin Fair Maps Coalition, says it’s disappointing that the court won’t allow the involved parties to add information to the record now that the original decision has been overturned.
“While it’s disappointing that the Supreme Court of Wisconsin will not let parties to the case supplement the record in light of recent events, we’re hopeful that the court will uphold its judicial responsibility to the people of Wisconsin and act quickly, decisively, and fairly in regards to the 2022 legislative maps,” he says.
Jeffrey Mandell, an attorney for progressive legal outfit Law Forward, which argued in the case on behalf of voting rights groups, says it’s difficult to know how the court is proceeding if it won’t hear any new evidence now that the case has been remanded.
“Hard to say. It seems to suggest that the Court is not willing to consider new evidence or argument at this point,” Mandell says. “But the Court has not given any indication of what process it wants to follow on remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, so there’s no way to know exactly what is happening next or on what timeframe.”