Governor Evers files motion to intervene in legislative maps lawsuit

Lawsuit has been at the heart of state legislature talks
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers(NBC15)
Published: Oct. 10, 2023 at 5:21 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul have filed a motion before the Wisconsin Supreme Court to intervene in a lawsuit challenging Wisconsin’s current legislative maps.

“I believe that the people should get to choose their elected officials, not the other way around, and that includes making sure legislators cannot abuse their power and manipulate the redistricting process to try and keep their power,” said Gov. Evers in a statement on Tuesday night.

Wisconsin’s legislative maps have been a hot-button issue as of late, with Assembly Speaker Robin Vos threatening the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz for not recusing herself from the case challenging the maps.

Republicans currently control the state Legislature and drew the maps.

Two lawsuits challenging the latest maps were filed in the first week after Protasiewicz joined the Supreme Court on Aug. 1. Protasiewicz is part of a 4-3 liberal majority on the court, ending a 15-year run with conservative justices in control.

The court recently agreed to hear one of the cases and dismissed the other. All four liberal justices agreed to take the case, while the three conservative justices dissented.

The court agreed to hear arguments that the current districts are not contiguous and violate the Wisconsin Constitution’s separation of powers doctrine. It asked both sides what remedy to impose if it determined the current maps were unconstitutional.

“The extreme gerrymandering of our legislative maps has shifted power from where it ultimately belongs—with the voters—to the legislators who have drawn the maps,” said Attorney General Kaul. “It’s time for Wisconsin to have fair maps and to return the power to set our legislative agenda to Wisconsin voters.”

Evers’ intervention comes just at the deadline set for additional parties on the Oct. 6 order accepting the jurisdiction.

The Associated Press contributed to this report