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Gov. Evers says new legislative maps with lawmakers 'unlikely' but anticipates 'fair maps' for 2024

Political Reporter asked Governor Tony Evers about the new liberal court's role in picking new maps.
Charles Benson Tony Evers interview 010824.png
Posted at 8:23 AM, Jan 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-09 09:23:07-05

This will be a key week in the legal battle to redraw the state's legislative maps.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has set Friday, January 12th as the deadline for both sides in the redistricting lawsuit to submit new maps.

Political Reporter Charles Benson asked Governor Tony Evers about the new liberal court's role in picking new maps.

Benson: Do you think it was necessary to throw out all the maps versus just trying to find a remedy for those that didn't meet the standard?

Evers: Well, yes, because you know, 72 counties and lots of municipalities and make some changes and meet maybe major changes one place, it takes over the entire state. So, I think it was a reasonable approach.

The 4-3 decision by the state supreme court to redraw the maps set in motion two options.
https://www.wicourts.gov/sc/opinion/DisplayDocument.pdf?content=pdf&seqNo=745249

The Republican controlled legislature and governor could come to an agreement on new maps by March 15h - or the supreme court decide the new boundaries through a separate remedial process that starts this Friday.

Benson: How confident are you that you and the Republican controlled legislature can come up with new maps by March 15?

Evers: The timing on it is easy, I mean, it's about the same timing that we had last time around. Do I think that we're going to come together and have a solution, the legislature and myself, unlikely.

If left to the court - Evers believes the outcome will be more competitive Assembly and Senate races.

Right now, Republicans control nearly two thirds of the seats in both chambers.

Benson: Will you'll be part of that process because you were part of the lawsuit

Evers: Sure. Absolutely. We're working on it right now. Just like we did last time,

Benson: But do you think the maps will look any different than what you originally proposed the last time around?

Evers I'd say generally, they were initially what the Supreme Court looked at and approved but I'd say more comprehensive across the state. We will see changes made.

Despite claims by Democrats the Republican drawn maps were unfair or gerrymandered - the ruling only focused on the constitutional question: Are the boundaries contiguous?

But the court indicated quote 'partisan impact' will be part of the solution with the new maps.

Benson: What does partisan impact mean to you?

Evers: Well, I didn't write it. But I think they're anticipating that fair maps will look relatively purple, that there will be competitive races in the state of Wisconsin. Right now, there's a few, in some places, none.

Republicans have asked the court to reconsider its decision saying they can't meet the January 12th deadline to submit redrawn maps and respond to the court's ruling.
https://www.wicourts.gov/courts/supreme/origact/docs/23ap1399_12291legmemo.pdf

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has suggested the U.S. Supreme court will have the 'last word' in the legal dispute.