|State website:||Primary page, Page of interactive map servers|
|2010-cycle districts:||Congress, State Senate, State Assembly « NEW|
|2000-cycle districts:||Congress, State Senate, State Assembly|
|Primary governing law:||Wis. Const. art. IV, §§ 3-5
Congress: On July 20, the state Assembly passed SB 149, which was signed on August 9. Federal legal challenges to the plan were rejected on March 22; state challenges remain pending.
State leg.: On July 20, the state Assembly passed SB 148, which was signed on August 9. On March 22, a federal court struck two Assembly districts under the Voting Rights Act, and rejected other federal claims; the court adopted a remedial plan for those two districts on April 11. The plan remains subject to a lawsuit in state court, including over its application to recall elections before November 2012.
Further information about both state legislative and congressional plans is here.
Because state districts must follow municipal ward lines where possible, redistricting usually occurs after ward lines are redrawn. This year, with an aggressive schedule to draw state districts (though activity had not been scheduled to resume before September, the legislature reconvened in extraordinary session on July 19 and passed both maps by July 20), the legislature also passed legislation to ask municipalities to redraw ward lines after state districts are drawn.
Redistricting political control:
Governor State Senate State House Congressional lines R 14 D, 19 R 38 D, 60 R State legislative lines R 14 D, 19 R 38 D, 60 R 2000 cong. lines R 18 D, 15 R 43 D, 56 R 2000 state lines R 18 D, 15 R 43 D, 56 R
Wisconsin's congressional and state legislative lines are both drawn by the state legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto.
Census data were delivered to Wisconsin on March 10, 2011.
Wisconsin law requires that state legislative lines be drawn in the first legislative session after each Census; the current legislative session began on January 3, 2011, and is scheduled to end on January 10, 2012. [Wis. Const. art. IV, § 3]
There is no similar deadline for congressional districts, though candidates must file for both congressional and state legislative primary elections by July 10, 2012. [Wis. Stat. § 10.78(2)(b)(1)]
Wisconsin law prohibits redrawing state legislative districts mid-decade, before the next Census; there is no similar provision pertaining to congressional lines. [Wis. Const. art. IV, § 3; State ex rel. Smith v. Zimmerman, 266 Wis. 307 (1954)]
- Public input
The Wisconsin constitution further requires that state legislative districts be in as compact form as practicable, and that they be bounded by county, precinct, town, or ward lines where possible. The state constitution also requires that districts be contiguous. In the past, Wisconsin law established that territory within a ward would be treated as contiguous, by definition, even when it did not connect; some past districts (e.g., 2000-cycle Assembly district 61) therefore appeared noncontiguous to the eye. This law (once codified at Wis. Stat. 4.001(3)) was repealed in 2011. [Wis. Const. art. IV, §§ 4-5]
- 2010 cycle cases
Baumgart v. Wendelberger, No. 2:01-cv-00121 (E.D. Wis.): in the 2000 cycle of redistricting, a federal court drew state legislative lines. One of the plaintiffs in that case then attempted in 2011 to seek relief from that judgment, on the grounds that the court's lines had become malapportioned after the 2010 census.
- Motion for relief from judgment (June 9, 2011).
- Defendant's response (July 13) and plaintiff's reply (July 27).
The latest: On July 28, the court denied the motion.
Clinard v. Brennan, No. 2011AP002677 - OA (Wis. Sup. Ct.): a request that the Wisconsin Supreme Court determine the validity of promulgated federal and state legislative districts, and declare prior districts invalid (including for recall elections before November 2012).
- GAB staff opinion re old districts for recalls before Nov. 2012 (Oct. 19).
- Petition for appointment of a 3-judge panel and memorandum (Nov. 21).
- Voluntary withdrawal of petition (Dec. 2).
- Motions to dismiss by intervenor recall committees (Nov. 30), Baldus et al. (Dec. 5).
- Briefing orders (Nov. 30) and (Dec. 1).
- Memoranda responding to Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 court order by:
Petitioners, Gov't Accountability Board, Baldus et al. (Dec. 6)
Intervenor recall committees (Dec. 6).
- Replies by GAB, Baldus et al. (and appendix), intervenor recall committees (Dec. 9).
- Briefing order (Dec. 6).
- Memoranda responding to Dec. 6 court order by:
Petitioners (& appendix), GAB, Baldus et al., intervenor recall committees (Dec. 12).
- Replies by Petitioners, GAB, Baldus et al., intervenor recall committees (Dec. 13).
The latest: A petition asking the state Supreme Court to convene a three-judge panel to hear the case was filed on November 21, with a motion to dismiss filed on Nov. 30. Plaintiffs attempted to drop their case on December 2, but that request was opposed. The court has ordered briefing on several of the above issues by December 12.
Clinard v. Brennan II, No. 2011CV003995 (Wis. Circuit Ct., Waukesha County) & No. 2011XX1409 (Wis. Sup. Ct.): a request that the state trial courts determine the validity of federal and state legislative districts, and declare prior districts invalid (including for recall elections before November 2012). This case mirrors Clinard v. Brennan, above, but was filed in state trial court rather than the state Supreme Court.
- Complaint (Nov. 28, 2011) and amended complaint (Dec. 2).
The latest: A complaint was filed on November 28 and amended on December 2.
Baldus v. Brennan, No. 2:11-cv-00562 (E.D. Wis.): a challenge in federal court to the promulgated federal and state legislative districts, based on alleged partisan and racial gerrymandering and the violation of the Voting Rights Act and various state constitutional criteria.
- Original (June 10, 2011), 1st (July 21), and 2nd amended complaint (Nov. 22).
- Complaint by intervenors Baldwin et al. (Nov. 17).
- Answer by defendants (Nov. 4) and intervenors Duffy et al. (Nov. 10).
- Motion to dismiss (June 30) and response (July 22).
- Motion to dismiss amended complaint (Aug. 4), response (Aug. 23), reply (Sept. 6).
- Decision denying motion to dismiss (Oct. 21).
- Order re legislative privilege I (Dec. 8), II (Dec. 20), III (incl. sanctions) (Jan. 3, 2012).
- Order denying legislative privilege to documents filed under seal (Feb. 16).
- Order permitting forensic examination of computers (Feb. 25, 2013).
- Motion for judgment on the pleadings (Dec. 8), opp. (Jan. 3, 2012), reply I, II (Jan. 17).
- Defendants' motion for summary judgment, proposed facts (Feb. 10).
- Response by Baldwin et al. (Feb. 20), plaintiffs (Feb. 24).
- Joint final pretrial report (Feb. 14).
- Response by plaintiffs, Baldwin et al., defendants (I, II) (Feb. 20).
- Response by Sensenbrenner et al. (Feb. 20).
- Trial briefs:
- Baldus et al., Voces, Baldwin et al. (Feb. 15).
- Responses by defendants (I, II), Sensenbrenner et al. (Feb. 20).
- Defendants' brief re re-redistricting, response (Feb. 22).
- Motion to dismiss congressional claims, opposition (Feb. 24).
- Opinion striking two state Assembly districts (Mar. 22).
- Plaintiffs' motion re remedy, response (Mar. 23), reply (Mar. 25).
- Scheduling order re remedy (Mar. 27).
- Submission by City of Milwaukee (Apr. 2), Rodriguez et al. (Apr. 5).
- Remedial briefs by plaintiffs, defendants (Apr. 3).
- Responses by plaintiffs, defendants (Apr. 5).
- Order adopting plaintiffs' Assembly remedy (Apr. 11).
The latest: On March 22, the court issued an opinion holding that the state Assembly plan violated the Voting Rights Act in the Milwaukee area. Even finding partisan motivation to be a significant factor, it rejected claims that state legislative districts were unconstitutionally unequally populated; it also rejected claims of partisan gerrymandering, and claims that "deferring" individuals' vote for Senate seats, by shifting them to districts with delayed votes due to staggered Senate terms, created a constitutional injury. On April 11, the court adopted plaintiffs' proposed remedy for redrawing the two targeted Assembly seats in the Milwaukee area.
- 2000 cycle
In the 2000 redistricting cycle, Wisconsin's legislature passed a congressional plan that was signed on March 26, 2002. It did not, however, pass a state legislative plan, and cases were brought in both state and federal court. The state court deferred to the federal court, which issued state legislative plans on May 30, 2002, amended July 11, 2002. It does not appear that the congressional plan was challenged in court after it was enacted.
[Jensen v. Wis. Elections Bd., 639 N.W.2d 537 (Wis. 2002); Baumgart v. Wendelberger, No. 01-C-0121, 2002 WL 34127471 (E.D. Wis. May 30, 2002)]
Voces de la Frontera v. Brennan, No. 2:11-cv-01011 (E.D. Wis.): a challenge in federal court to the state legislative districts, based on alleged violations of the Voting Rights Act in the Milwaukee area.
- Complaint (Oct. 31, 2011).
The latest: On November 22, this case was consolidated with Baldus v. Brennan, above.