Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the issue of gerrymandering is beyond the scope of the federal courts. While we are disappointed with the 5-4 ruling, the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO takes Chief Justice Roberts’ decision as a call to action.
It is an outrage the U.S. Supreme Court did not call for an end to the extreme partisan gerrymandering currently suffocating the rights and freedom of voters to fairly choose our own representation. Partisan gerrymandering is unjust, undemocratic, and un-American.
Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan writes in her dissent, “partisan gerrymanders here debased and dishonored our democracy, turning upside-down the core American idea that all governmental power derives from the people.”
Our American values of democracy tell us voters deserve an electoral process where voters pick their representatives rather than politicians picking their voters.
Wisconsin voters deserve the freedom of fair representation. The Wisconsin State AFL-CIO has long-supported every effort to address partisan gerrymandering. We thank Gov. Evers for putting forth a budget that outlined a thorough action plan to implement non-partisan redistricting in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, Republicans in the Joint Finance Committee and the Legislature stripped Gov. Evers’ non-partisan redistricting proposal from the budget.
County Boards in 47 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, representing three quarters of the state’s population, have passed resolutions to ban partisan gerrymandering. A Marquette University Law School poll earlier this year found 72 percent of all respondents, including 62 percent of Republicans, support non-partisan redistricting reform.
Assembly Bill 303, an outline to fair maps in Wisconsin, currently sits in the legislature waiting debate. Wisconsin’s hardworking families deserve fair maps.
Justice Kagan continues in her dissent, “of all times to abandon the Court’s duty to declare the law, this was not the one. The practices challenged in these cases imperil our system of government. Part of the Court’s role in that system is to defend its foundations. None is more important than free and fair elections. With respect but deep sadness, I dissent.”