Boots & Sabers

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1010, 27 Jan 24

Usurpers on the high court

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News earlier this week.

The leftist-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court is continuing its rampage to strip Wisconsinites of self-governance and reshape the state to their will. Where leftists could not win support for their ideology at the ballot box, they will use the power of the court to advance it.


Unless you are a political nerd, it is difficult to convey how bad the court is acting in regard to Wisconsin’s legislative maps. Article 4 section 3 of the Wisconsin Constitution is crystal clear that it is the duty and responsibility of the state legislature to redraw the state’s legislative boundaries every 10 years after the federal census. The maps are redrawn to adjust for population shifts to ensure that each district is roughly equal in population.


After the 2020 census, the Republican legislature did their duty and redrew the maps. Democrat Governor Evers vetoed them, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court ended up settling the issue. The maps were challenged multiple times in state and federal court, but the maps were universally ruled constitutional and went into effect for the 2022 election.


This was a settled issue. Leftists are frustrated that their supporters are concentrated in a couple of areas in the state. This results in Wisconsin being evenly politically divided in statewide elections, but since legislative districts are geographically dispersed, the leftists’ geographic concentration puts them at a disadvantage in legislative elections. This is why challenging the legislative maps was high on the list of things for the newly Leftists Supreme Court to redo.


Right before Christmas, the Supreme Court threw out all of the legislative maps and committed to redrawing them under their own authority, thus usurping the express power conferred to the Legislature in the constitution. The fig leaf they used to cover their overt power grab was that all of the districts were not physically contiguous. Wisconsin’s districts have not been physically contiguous for many decades, but that was their excuse. In fact, in 1992, a Democrat-led legislature drew maps without physically contiguous districts and a federal judicial panel ruled them constitutional. It is goofy, but it is not unconstitutional.


Even if one accepts that incontiguous districts are unconstitutional (they are not); and even if one considers the issue so egregious that it must be dealt with now and not at the next apportionment (it is not); the court could have taken the least disruptive action of just redrawing the relevant districts. They did not take the least disruptive action. Instead, they threw out all of the maps and are completely redrawing them in the middle of a presidential election year. The court’s actions reveal the depth of their power grab.


On Jan. 12, seven interested parties submitted new maps to the court for them to consider. According to a review by the Marquette University Law School, all seven maps still result in a Republican advantage for the Assembly. That is just how the political math works in an age of ideological ghettoization.


The Republicans would also have an advantage for the Senate in five of the seven submitted maps.


The Supreme Court does not have to use any of the submitted maps. They could just ignore them all and draw their own. One thing is certain, however: The new maps will maximize the advantage for Democrats even if districts are gerrymandered such that they will be renowned as a piece of abstract art. One need only look to our neighbors in Illinois to see the depths to which Democrats will gerrymander districts to their advantage.


But the deeper outrage of the leftist court’s actions is not the “what,” but the “who.” Our government of self-governance relies on the rule of law and the separation of powers. The leftists are rejecting both of these bedrock principles in one stroke. They are substituting ideology for law and brazenly snatching an express constitutional power from the legislative branch of government.


We are watching a judicial coup unfold before our eyes. These are menacing times.



1010, 27 January 2024


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