A Big Win For The GOP On Redistricting
Let's get this straight once and for all. When it comes to redistricting, political parties try to draw election maps to benefit their respective sides. Just look at what Democrats (who aren't even pretending to be subtle about the issue) did in Illinois this year.
The check on all this is the court system - and in Wisconsin, it seems to me that the system worked pretty well.
At the outset, it should be noted that politics notwithstanding, redrawing election maps is a thankless task. Requiring politicians to even out the population of every Assembly and Senate District based on the Census is an effort guaranteed to be fraught with peril. Add in the political implications of redistricting and you can understand how contentious the matter becomes.
Since Republicans control both the Wisconsin State Senate and Assembly, the GOP majority had the votes (and therefore the authority) to redraw election maps. Not surprisingly, the Democrats and their allies objected to the maps that the GOP came up with - and took to the courts to block implementation of the new maps.
Despite multiple challenges (many of which were abandoned), a three judge panel upheld almost every aspect of redistricting. The one exception is that the line between two Assembly Districts in the City of Milwaukee needs to be slightly adjusted. In other words, it's hard not to see how this isn't an almost total victory for those Republicans involved in the effort.
The decision by the three judge panel takes some legitimate shots at some of the processes used by the GOP in getting to the end result. Frankly, I think some of this criticism is fair. Still, at the end of the day, it's the result that matters.
And that result is a big win for the GOP on redistricting.