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The Wisconsin Supreme Court has dealt a blow to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ attempt to install a post-Census congressional map that heavily favored his party while replacing it with a redistricting map drawn by the state’s GOP legislative majority.
The state high court ruled 4-3 on Friday after the U.S. Supreme Court in March tossed out the map that Evers had drawn, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
In addition, the ruling comes so late that Democrats likely will not have time to try and fight the implementation of the GOP-drawn redistricting map ahead of the 2022 midterm elections in November, the paper said.
In a Twitter post, Evers blasted the decision.
“BREAKING: Today’s redistricting decision by #SCOWIS is outrageous. At a time when our democracy is under near-constant attack, the judiciary has abandoned our democracy in our most dire hour. This is an unconscionable miscarriage of justice,” he said in a post containing his full statement.
BREAKING: Today’s redistricting decision by #SCOWIS is outrageous. At a time when our democracy is under near-constant attack, the judiciary has abandoned our democracy in our most dire hour. This is an unconscionable miscarriage of justice. My full statement here ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/jVjJpyr4AT
— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) April 15, 2022
The ruling only affects state legislative offices, the Journal-Sentinel noted. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Evers’ proposal for congressional elections in March.
The Western Journal notes:
While it seems a lock that the GOP voting plan will be used for the 2022 elections, the state Democrats are still mulling continued court challenges against the redistricting map for 2024, according to the Journal-Sentinel.
Despite apparently being stuck with the maps for 2022, the Democrats still claim that the GOP-created map violates the federal Voting Rights Act.
The argument started after Evers released his plan. State Republicans had objected to the governor’s map because it increased Milwaukee’s black-majority districts from six to seven, even though the city’s black population did not grow to justify adding a district, the Journal-Sentinel reported.
Meanwhile, the new map approved by the courts goes in the opposite direction by reducing the black-majority districts in Milwaukee from six to five.
The state’s highest court decided in the end that Evers did not prove his case and thus ruled accordingly.
“The Governor did not present evidence of a (Voting Rights Act) violation, despite drawing maps on the basis of race. He produced no evidence of electoral history and no district-specific evidence demonstrating that the black communities he moved among districts would be denied the opportunity to effectively participate in democracy absent his proposed district lines,” Chief Justice Annette Ziegler wrote in the court’s decision, according to the Journal-Sentinel.
Writing for the minority, Justice Jill Karofsky appeared to justify Evers’ attempt at increasing black-dominated voting districts not based on actual population figures but on some claimed historical injustice. According to the Journal-Sentinel, she wrote that the increase was justifiable based on the city’s purported “history of forced segregation” that reduced the political influence of blacks in Wisconsin, but neither Wisconsin’s highest court nor SCOTUS bought into that claim.
The Western Journal added:
Indeed, Milwaukee was a focal point for suspected manipulation in the 2020 election. Milwaukee and the surrounding areas, including Racine and Kenosha, were the recipients of more than $8 million in grants issued by leftist Facebook chief Mark Zuckerburg for the 2020 election cycle. The grants were described as “an election bribery scheme under Wisconsin law,” according to a report by special counsel Michael Gableman.
“And by targeting important jurisdictions with large Democrat vote potential with greater financial resources, opportunities were given to some voters that weren’t made available to all Wisconsin voters,” Gableman, a retired Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, explained.
There were also allegations that several public officials in Milwaukee took “Zuck Bucks” during the 2020 election cycle, the outlet noted further.
In addition, WISN-AM talk show host Dan O’Donnell reported that county and municipal clerks and poll workers possibly changed mail-in ballots all across the state in a way inconsistent with state law.
He wrote that Wisconsin statutes require all mail-in ballots to have a witness’s signature and the witness’s home address in order to be valid and to be counted.
“The statute is very, very clear,” O’Donnell wrote, quoting Gableman as saying. “If an absentee ballot does not have a witness address on it, it’s not valid. That ballot is not valid.”