Boots & Sabers

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Tag: Redistricting

Should Unbiased Experts be Responsible for Redistricting?

There was a thoughtful response to my column about redistricting in the Washington County Daily News. Here it is and I’ll respond below.

To the editor: Owen Robinson’s March 8 column (“High court rules on redistricting”) provides a commendable review of the recent Wisconsin Supreme Court decision, which is now before the U.S. Supreme Court. But I disagree strongly with his concluding comment that “the resulting district lines will matter little to anyone who is not vying for public office.” We voters will get either

Democratic Governor Evers’ redistricting maps, or the maps created by the GOP-controlled Legislature. Either way, voters lose, and lose big.


Robinson is enthusiastic about leaving the Legislature in charge. Talk about letting the fox guard the henhouse! Every politician’s top goal is re-election, right? Predictably, when legislatures redraw these maps, after every ten-year census, they use reams of data on past voting patterns to minimize the chance that incumbents of either party will lose their next election. If you live in Madison or Milwaukee, and might wish to elect a Republican, you’re out of luck. Electing Democrats in Washington County is likewise a non-starter.


The parties conspire to provide each side’s incumbents a “safe seat” in power.


This is called gerrymandering. Both parties are guilty as sin. The new maps going into effect in Illinois and New York are a joke — just as gerrymandered to help Dems as the Republican-slanted maps in Wisconsin or North Carolina. If an incumbent can satisfy her own party’s activist base, she’s in like Flynn. From 1970 to 2010, House districts rated as “strong Democrat” or “strong Republican” doubled, to 60%. This produces extreme partisans like AOC or Marjorie Taylor Greene. And partisanship is the root-rot that’s gridlocking our political system.


The solution is to remove the job of redistricting from self-serving politicians, by creating a nonpartisan process. Grassroots movements in other states are doing just this. So can we. Don’t settle for what we’ve got, as Robinson seems to do. Google Fair Maps Wisconsin. Check out the Brennan Center website. Get involved. Let’s recapture our voting power and renew Wisconsin politics.


Bruce L. Reynolds West Bend

He’s not wrong. That is exactly what politicians do. But his solutions has a couple of significant flaws. First, the notion that we could assemble a group of completely disinterested people to draw the maps is a fantasy. Everybody has biases. Everybody. They have biases because people are people. It is our nature.

Second, removing the responsibility for something as important as redistricting from elected representatives and giving it to unelected people is never a good idea. Elections have consequences, so the saying goes. Elections are where we, the people, can make a choice and hold people accountable. Unelected people are also unaccountable. In what world does removing accountability improve the situation?

Finally, Bruce lets the cat out of the bag when he advocates for the Fair Maps Wisconsin group. This is a leftist organization that is backed by other leftist organizations. Why are they pushing for an unelected cabal to make the political maps? Because then they can staff that cabal with other leftists. They aren’t about fairness. They are about eliminating Republicans from participating in the redistricting process forevermore.

SCOTUS Issues Stay in Redistricting Case

Excellent. Our State AG is pleased.

MADISON, Wis. – By a vote of 5-4, the Supreme Court of the United States this morning granted Attorney General Brad D. Schimel’s application for a stay in the redistricting case, Gill v. Whitford. Earlier today, the Court agreed to hear the case, which is expected to be scheduled for oral argument during the term starting in October 2017.

The stay prevents implementation of the three-judge panel’s ruling, which would have required the Wisconsin Legislature to redraw district maps in the coming months.

Attorney General Brad Schimel released the following statement in response.

”The stay is particularly important because it preserves the Legislature’s time, effort, and resources while this case is pending. In our stay application, I argued that requiring the Legislature to re-draw district maps this year would have been a waste of resources. I also argued that it was likely that the lower court’s decision would be eventually overturned. I am pleased that the Court granted our request on this important issue.”

Democrats Sue Over Redistricting

And in another case of liberals suing over Republican legislation.

A Democratic suit filed in federal court to repeal the Republican re-districting of the Wisconsin Assembly is set for trial May 24, with hearings judges say should last no longer than four days.

A three-judge panel this week rejected the Department of Justice’s request to dismiss the suit. The plaintiffs (Democrats) in the case will have to prove that Republicans acted with discriminatory intent when they drew the maps. The judges on the panel are Kenneth Ripple, Barbara Crabb and William Griesbach.

Democrats filed the suit in July, calling the new redistricting map unconstitutional and “one of the worse partisan gerrymanders in modern American history.”

They are asking the court to strike down the maps and draw new ones.

Bear in mind that redistricting has been done for half a decade now. We have had several elections with the new maps already. And they will be redrawn again in five years after the 2020 census. Yet here we are… in court again because the Democrats feel aggrieved. Perhaps they should focus their energies on actually winning elections so that they can be at the helm when the districts are redrawn next time.



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