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Supreme Court to take up Wisconsin redistricting case

In this April 4, 2017, file photo, the Supreme Court Building is seen in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- The U.S. Supreme Court will take on the battle over Wisconsin's legislative districts.

It stems from a lawsuit filed two years ago, when a dozen Democratic voters sued the state, saying the district maps were unconstitutional.

Assembly Republicans hold the largest majority in the chamber in six decades.

A case on how the Assembly districts are mapped out, will go before the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday.

"We're looking for an even field, we're looking for fair maps and we're hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will deliver that," said State Rep. Eric Genrich, D-Green Bay.

Last year, a federal court ruled the map drawn by Republican controlled legislature was unconstitutional, saying it violated the first and 14th amendments. Genrich said he is hoping for a similar outcome with the Supreme Court.

"The federal courts which has said the constitutional rights of Wisconsinites are being violated by the state Assembly Districts that were drawn by legislative Republicans," he said.

Governor Scott Walker has said the reason Republicans are winning seats, is because voters agree with their message.

"If the argument is somehow that redistricting had a role in the majority that would've worked for one election. Republicans have gained seats in three elections since the 2010 election. so they won in 12, they won in 14, they won in 16, they keep growing," Walker said at a stop in Green Bay last week.

"There is a potential for this to help both sides so to speak, and disadvantage both sides too," said UW-Green Bay political science professor, David Helpap.

Helpap said the ruling in Wisconsin could set the stage for other states.

"In this case, the democrats are on the losing end so they want to use this as a way to gain more competitiveness, but that wouldn't be the case nationwide," explained Helpap. "Like in California where republicans might have a better chance perhaps at getting more districts then they do now."

The Supreme Court will not issue a decision Tuesday, that is expected to take several months.

States redraw boundaries after each decade's census.




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