The chairman of the state Elections Commission is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to decide as quickly as possible on a potentially landmark redistricting case affecting Wisconsin that is set to come before the court next week.
The suit seeks to overturn the legislative district boundaries that have been in place in Wisconsin since 2011.
A speedy decision on the suit would help the commission oversee the 2018 legislative elections by making clear what the district boundaries will be, commission chairman Mark Thomsen said.
Oral arguments in the case, Whitford v. Gill, are scheduled for Tuesday.
Thomsen, one of three Democratic members of the six-member commission, said the panel is “under great duress” due to budget cuts and other factors.
“We would like to have the maps as soon as possible, so we need the decision,” Thomsen said.
Plaintiffs in the case say the state’s legislative districts, drawn by the Republican legislative majority in 2011, are unconstitutional because they discriminate against Democratic voters by minimizing the impact of their votes.
The state, the defendant in the case, says the district boundaries were drawn in accordance with the law.
Experts say the case could have national implications if the high court finds a basis for overturning redistricting plans because they have a partisan skew.