Daily Bread for 11.30.21: Watching the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Redistricting

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 46.  Sunrise is 7:05 AM and sunset 4:21 PM for 9h 16m 07s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 19.6% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1803, in New Orleans, Spanish representatives officially transfer the Louisiana Territory to an official from the French First Republic. Just 20 days later, France transfers the same land to the United States as the Louisiana Purchase.

 Shawn Johnson reports Wisconsin Supreme Court to rule on key issues in redistricting case:

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is expected to issue an order this week that lays the legal groundwork for a case that could decide the state’s political maps for the next decade.

While the order won’t be the final word in the case, it could settle key questions, such as whether justices should approve “least changes” maps that largely copy the redistricting plans Wisconsin Republicans passed in 2011.

States redraw their legislative and congressional boundaries at least once every decade following the release of U.S. Census data, a process designed to keep districts roughly equal in population.

Republicans controlled both the Legislature and the governor’s office during the last round of redistricting in 2011, which let them draw maps that helped them win big majorities over the past decade, even in years when Democratic candidates performed well statewide.

GOP lawmakers passed similar maps earlier this month, but Democratic Gov. Tony Evers vetoed the plans, saying they amounted to “gerrymandering 2.0.”

The conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, or WILL, filed a lawsuit in August arguing that given the likely impasse in state government, the fairest way for a court to resolve redistricting was by mostly preserving the 2011 maps, adjusting only where necessary to address population changes.

“The ‘least change’ approach is the most fair and neutral way for this Court to modify any existing maps,” WILL wrote in a brief filed last month. “It is the approach that best comports with this Court’s duty to assess the constitutionality of laws rather than to draft them from scratch.”

Democrats, and their allies, have urged a different approach, arguing that conservatives are asking the court “do their dirty work,” by entrenching GOP majorities in the Legislature for another decade.

“It’s bad enough that the legislature insulated itself from voters for the past ten years,” argued a coalition of Democratic voters including William Whitford, whose 2015 redistricting lawsuit made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. “It would be even worse if the Court were to perpetuate the gerrymander for the next decade.”

Barbados leaves colonial history behind and becomes a republic:

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