The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Oct. 3 in the Wisconsin gerrymandering case, Whitford v. Gill.
There are 12 plaintiffs in the Whitford case – 12 Wisconsin citizens who chose to challenge the controversial voting districts adopted by the Legislature in 2011. And they won.
In November of last year, a majority decision by the U.S District Court for Wisconsin’s Western District found “…the discriminatory effect is not explained by the political geography of Wisconsin, nor is it justified by a legitimate state interest. Consequently, Act 43 [the 2011 redistricting plan] constitutes an unconstitutional political gerrymander.”
Thanks to these 12 plaintiffs, court testimony revealed how the current redistricting process was manipulated for political advantage. Thanks to their case, we now know that the map boundaries were not drawn by our duly elected representatives, but by two legislative staffers and an outside consultant, paid for with taxpayer dollars.
We now know the extent to which highly sophisticated computer programs were used to achieve the maximum, predictable success of GOP representatives. We now know that each GOP legislator was shown his or her redrawn district, and had to sign a secrecy agreement not to disclose details until final approval by the full body.
Subsequent election results have shown the partisan misalignment of Wisconsin’s Assembly districts is among the worst in the nation. The entire country is awaiting the outcome of Whitford v. Gill, a landmark case with national implications. For that, we can thank 12 plaintiffs who are fighting for the constitutional rights of every Wisconsin voter.
Elizabeth Kruck, Genoa