State Files Opening Brief in SCOTUS Redistricting Case

State Files Opening Brief in SCOTUS Redistricting Case

Last week, Attorney General Brad Schimel filed with the U.S. Supreme Court the opening brief in Gill v. Whitford, the legal challenge to Wisconsin Republicans’ redistricting map brought by Democratic voters against officials of the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

In the brief, Schimel argues that the Supreme Court should dismiss the district court decision because the maps the district court struck down comply with traditional redistricting principles and do not differ from the previous 2002 court-drawn map in terms of election outcomes.

The brief further argues that federal courts have no jurisdiction to adjudicate statewide political gerrymandering claims, and the plaintiffs lack standing to challenge the district maps on a statewide basis. Even if standing was established, the plaintiffs did not provide a “limited” and “precise” means for the courts to determine partisan gerrymandering, according to the defendants’ brief.

The Supreme Court announced on June 19 that it would review Gill v. Whitford. By 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court also granted Attorney General Brad Schimel’s request to stay the lower court’s order requiring a timely redrawing of the Assembly district map. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for the case on October 3, 2017.

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