The U.S. Supreme Court could announce as soon as Monday how it’s handling a landmark legal fight over Wisconsin’s gerrymandered political map, which has helped lock in legislative majorities for the GOP since it took power in 2011. The key legal question: Can a set of political districts be so stacked toward one party that it violates the Constitution? Until the court speaks, that is unsettled law. But while the law is uncertain, the politics are quite clear. Legislative boundaries like Wisconsin’s present a stark civics question: How meaningful are elections when control of the legislature in a competitive state is largely predetermined by the way the districts are drawn?
There have now been three big election cycles since the current Wisconsin map took effect, featuring three very different outcomes at the top of the ticket.
In 2012, President Barack Obama, a Democrat, carried the state by 7 points.
In 2014, Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, carried the state by 6 points.
And in 2016, the two parties finished in a virtual tie for president, with Republican Donald Trump beating Democrat Hillary Clinton by less than a point.
But these partisan shifts had little effect on the battle for the 99-seat state Assembly, where the GOP’s margin of control has averaged more than 20 seats under the lopsided map Republicans drew in 2011. All the numbers show that the GOP’s advantage is real, it is large and it is much bigger than it was under the previous map.
Full Article: Wisconsin waits to hear from Supreme Court on political maps.