Democrats in Wisconsin have been irate for several years, especially ever since the election of Scott Walker as governor in the 2010 election. Walker rocked the states Democrats when he busted the union that represented many state employees. With Walker’s lead, the state legislature passed a law that removed much of the bargaining power of the union, in an effort to help balance the state budget and reduce the state’s deficit.
Democrats were not happy and with the help of other unions in the state, launched a recall election of Walker. Millions of dollars were spent during the recall campaign and in the end, Walker won the recall election by a greater margin than he won the previous general election.
Much to the dismay of Wisconsin Democrats, Walker won re-election in 2014. He is expected to run for a third term in 2018, but Democrats are more determined than ever to prevent Walker from being re-elected.
That’s when the state’s Democrats turned trying to draw new districting maps that would give them advantages in more districts while reducing the power currently held by Republicans. However, the practice is illegal and is referred to gerrymandering.
Have any of you ever heard of Elbridge Gerry? On July 4, 1776, he was one of the brave men who placed his signature on the Declaration of Independence. An act that according to the British, places his life in jeopardy. Gerry went on to serve as governor of Massachusetts and Vice-President of the United States under President James Madison. Gerry is most remembered for his redistricting the state of Massachusetts to give his political party (Democratic-Republican) an unfair advantage in elections. The incident created such a controversy at the time that the process of illicit redistricting was named after him and has since been known as gerrymandering.
This is what Wisconsin’s Democrats are being accused of doing. A lawsuit was filed to stop the Democratic gerrymandering and the case has almost made its way through the court system.
It was hoped that the US Supreme Court would hear the case and rule against Wisconsin Democrats. Judicial Watch and the Allied Educational Foundation filed an amici curiae brief with the Supreme Court, urging the high court to hear the case. In their brief, Judicial Watch contended that Wisconsin Democrats were trying to insure they would win the next election via the redistricting. Their brief also argued that the US District Court for Wisconsin relied in part on what is known as the ‘efficiency gap’, which is a purely hypothetical guess of how well each political party would win in a so-called fair election.
In their brief, Judicial Watch and AEF stated:
“[P]roportional representation has nothing to do with preventing gerrymandering. Deviations from proportional representation, however defined, may occur for any number of reasons other than gerrymandering, including the political views or missteps or personal qualities of the candidates of one of the parties. The absence of proportional representation does not uniquely identify gerrymanders. In any event, proportional representation is not required by the Constitution.”
Yesterday, the Supreme court announced that they would hear the case. Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch commented:
“We’re happy that the Supreme Court will now have a chance to rule that Democrats – or any political party – will not have a constitutional right to win elections.”
As the Supreme Court moves forward in the process of hearing this case, Judicial Watch will file another amicus curiae brief. They are hoping that the Supreme Court will stop the Democrats from trying to fix the next election and take control of Wisconsin.