Wisconsin Voters Rally for Fair Maps While Oral Arguments Begin
Wisconsin Voters Day in Court Begins Tuesday, November 21st
After more than a dozen years of pushback and struggle, the proponents of fair voting maps and ending partisan gerrymandering of state legislative districts in Wisconsin will finally get their day in court before the newly constituted Wisconsin Supreme Court. Oral arguments in the long-anticipated court case, Clarke v. Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) will commence beginning at 8:45 AM on Tuesday, November 21st in the State Capitol in Madison in the Wisconsin Supreme Court Chamber.
At 9:00 AM, fair voting maps advocates will hold a rally and press conference near the Supreme Court Chamber (16-East, State Capitol). Among those expected to speak are the former State Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Tim Cullen of Janesville, who is currently a board member of Common Cause Wisconsin (CC/WI) and the immediate past Chair. Cullen may be joined by another former State Senate Majority Leader (2004-07), Republican Dale Schultz of Richland Center.
Cullen and Schultz were leading redistricting reform proponents in the Wisconsin Legislature before both retired in early 2015. Since then, they have traveled, often together, all across Wisconsin speaking and educating citizens about the need to rid the state of the polarizing and debilitating partisan gerrymandering that took hold beginning in 2011 and was repeated in the latest redistricting process of 2021-22.
Cullen and Schultz will be joined by other voters from around Wisconsin to make brief remarks prior to the oral arguments that will be made before the State Supreme Court. Additionally, Milwaukee, Green Bay and Eau Claire will hold support rallies at Noon on Tuesday.
In the meantime, the Wisconsin State Senate majority Republicans have still not attempted to advance to the floor of the Senate for consideration deeply flawed, partisan redistricting legislation, Senate Bill 488 which CC/WI opposes and testified against at the single public hearing held on the bill on October 19th. Identical flawed, partisan legislation, Assembly Bill 415 was rammed through the Wisconsin Assembly on September 14th only two days after being devised and unleashed and without any public hearing whatsoever.
We will continue to monitor activity in the Wisconsin Senate and alert voters should SB 488 suddenly be pulled from the Senate Elections Committee and sent to the full Senate. That legislation must be opposed because it is deeply flawed and lacks bipartisan support, the support of nonpartisan public interest groups like CC/WI, and most significantly, the support of the voters of Wisconsin.
As for now, all eyes are on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Join CC/WI on Tuesday in a show of support for Fair Maps! These rallies are our chance to show that we care about fair maps and that we are not backing down.