Wisconsin Republicans are seeking nonpartisan redistricting to avoid state judges flipping cards

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin on Tuesday, in a surprise move, reversed their long-held position and proposed a bipartisan redistricting plan that they hope to implement before the 2024 elections in an attempt to forestall the state’s liberal-controlled Supreme Court Tossing the current GOP-drawn cards.

The move comes as Wisconsin judges consider two cases Lawsuits supported by Democrats is trying to scrap the Republican maps that first came into effect in 2011, which are among the most manipulated in the country and have helped Republicans increase their majority.

Republicans have long opposed Democratic plans to implement a bipartisan redistricting process. Facing the likelihood that the state Supreme Court would throw out its maps before the 2024 election, Republicans are now proposing to adopt a new system modeled on neighboring Iowa.

“If you’re tired of arguing, if you’re tired of nastiness, if you want people to work together, then this is the better way for us,” Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said at a news conference.

The Assembly was scheduled to vote on the measure Thursday. It then goes to the Senate, where Republicans have a 22-11 majority. If approved there, it would then go to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

Neither Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu nor Evers immediately responded to requests for comment.

Vos said the plan offers a way to avoid two pending redistricting lawsuits and a possible impeachment dispute. He and other Republicans have raised the possibility of impeachment if newly elected Judge Janet Protasiewicz doesn’t do so Exclusion of redistribution cases for calling the current maps “unfair” and “rigged” and accepting nearly $10 million in campaign contributions from the Wisconsin Democratic Party.

Protasiewicz’s victory in April majority control reversed of the court from conservative to liberal for the first time in 15 years.

Republican support for a bipartisan redistricting plan came days after the Wisconsin Democratic Party announced one $4 million campaign to pressure Republicans to back down from charging Protasiewicz. Hours before Vos announced his plan, a six-figure Fox News TV ad targeting 20 Republican lawmakers was announced.


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