Boots & Sabers

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0725, 10 Feb 24

Leftist court justices getting what they paid for

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

There is an open secret in corporate America regarding consultants. While business leaders will sometimes hire consultants to actually study an issue and offer unbiased advice, perhaps more often than not, consultants are hired to tell the business leaders what they want to hear. This is exactly what is happening within the redistricting case before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.


Here is how the game is played: An executive knows they need to do something or wants to do something but either does not have support or does not want to take responsibility for the decision. The executive hires a consultant to “study” the issue and provide guidance with a wink and a nod. When the consultant miraculously comes back recommending that they do what the executive wanted, the executive can sell the decision to their bosses, employees, and customers as something “recommended by unbiased experts after rigorous study.” Consultants get paid. Executive gets what he or she wants.


When the leftists on the Wisconsin Supreme Court chose to violate the law and Constitution to throw out the legally implemented state legislative maps last year, they decided that they needed a fig leaf of legitimacy to force whatever new maps they draw. To that end, they went out and hired two consultants, Jonathan Cervas and Bernard Grofman. Both men are academics who have carved out a niche for themselves consulting on redistricting for clients all over the country. Both of these consultants will be paid $450 per hour up to $100,000 each for their work. It is a good side hustle if you can get it. The hiring process for these consultants was utterly opaque. There was no nationwide search for the best, most unbiased consultants. The leftists did not solicit input from any of the litigants in the case. There was no bidding process or price negotiation made public. We, the public, have absolutely no idea why these two consultants were selected or why we are paying them $450 per hour. The only thing we know is that the leftist court majority chose them.


The leftist court majority is getting exactly what they are paying for. In response to the court usurping the power of the Legislature and throwing out the state legislative maps, the court accepted six alternate proposals from interested parties. The six sets of maps were submitted by Legislative Republicans, the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, Governor Tony Evers, Democrat plaintiffs, Senate Democrats, and a group of academic mathematicians.


Last week, accompanied by a statement heavy with meaningless academic jargon, the consultants rejected the two maps submitted by Republicans and WILL — the only two maps submitted by someone who is not a fellow traveler of the leftist court majority. The consultants did not declare which map was most correct but left open the option to draw their own if asked to do so by the court.


Let me save everyone the drama of what is to come. We already know. The leftist court majority has made it clear that they will redraw the maps to favor the Democrats as much as possible. They have a fundamental belief that legislative representation should mirror the statewide popular vote – ignoring small-“r” republicanism that balances geographic and popular interests. Given that the leftists have the majority, they will impose maps that are heavily gerrymandered to favor Democrats.


The leftist justices want to maintain the fiction of impartiality and judicial objectivity. Yes, “fiction” is the correct word. To that end, one of two outcomes will happen. The court will choose the maps submitted by the mathematicians. This lets the leftists pretend that there is objective science behind the maps without accepting maps submitted by obviously biased Democrats.


The more likely outcome is that the leftist justices will toss out all of the submitted maps and charge the consultants to draw new maps. This gives them ultimate control over the outcome and covers their overt partisanship with a veneer of academic impartiality and objectivity. The mainstream media will announce their approval for the allegedly fair, in reality completely unfair, maps like the clapping barking seals they are.


The two consultants hired by the leftist court majority were hired to deliver maps that favor Democrats. That is exactly what is going to happen. In the end, given the billions of taxpayer dollars that are going to flow to leftist operatives and priorities as a result of this decision, $200,000 seems like a reasonable investment for them to make to maintain the fiction of a rule of law in Wisconsin.


0725, 10 February 2024

1 Comment

  1. Tuerqas

    There is something here that I don’t completely understand. How does the court get to actually implement the new maps? They have no power or staff that can implement anything. Does the Legislature give over the reins (allowing the court to dictate to the people in charge of using the maps) to the court for this?

    It seems to me that the Legislature should smile and ignore them until the US Supreme court comes back with a verdict that the State court did not overstep their authority.

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