MILWAUKEE – The ACLU of Wisconsin today condemned the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s recent adoption of a redistricting map that is anti-democratic and highly partisan.
Melinda Brennan, the Executive Director of the ACLU of Wisconsin, said the following:
“Over the last decade, extreme partisan gerrymandering has turned Wisconsin’s redistricting process into a political tool used to manipulate the outcome of elections. On Friday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court took that injustice a step further, adopting maps that dilute the power of Black and Brown voters and further undermine representative democracy. Redistricting aims to ensure maps accurately reflect population changes and racial diversity. Still, in Wisconsin, the process continues to be hijacked by politicians who use it to maintain power regardless of the will of the voters. Decisions on who holds elected office should be decided by voters, not politicians who draw maps to keep themselves in office.
Maps as racially discriminatory and politically gerrymandered as the one the court ultimately selected also allow politicians to insulate themselves more easily from public accountability. When the power of voters is compromised because of the way district lines are drawn, elected officials feel more emboldened to make decisions that go against the interests of those they are elected to serve, knowing that the composition of districts is so skewed in their favor that voting them out – even when they are unpopular – is that much more difficult. A system that allows politicians to shield themselves from answering to their constituents by actively eroding the power of voters is anathema to democracy.
While Friday’s Supreme Court ruling has dealt yet another blow to Wisconsin’s democracy, we cannot allow ourselves to give up. Our vote is still powerful.
The courts are trying to stop the progress of voting rights for Black and Brown voters in the United States, and we can’t let them do it. We must prove them wrong by exercising our right to vote in upcoming elections. Anti-democratic forces can be checked by people motivated to use their votes. Gerrymandering doesn’t affect statewide races, like senator, governor, or state supreme court. And attempts to dilute votes in legislative districts must not discourage people from exercising their franchise and making their voices heard.”