On this day in 1777, Congress commissions Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, as a major general.
Recommended for reading in full:
Ruth Coniff reports GOP could dodge Gov. Evers to gerrymander Wisconsin again:
Advocates on both sides of recent redistricting battles in Wisconsin have told the Examiner they believe that the Republican-controlled legislature might draw new, gerrymandered voting maps after the 2020 census, using a process that would avoid sending the plan to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers for his signature or veto.
Democrats and advocates for a fair map hoped that the election of a Democratic governor would prevent Republican legislators from gerrymandering Wisconsin again.
Wisconsin already has one of the most skewed voting maps in the nation, according to a federal court. Under the current map, created by the Republican legislature and signed by then-Gov. Scott Walker in 2011, Republicans were able to win a majority of seats in the state Assembly in 2012, even though Democratic candidates received more votes, overall, in that year’s Assembly races. In 2018, despite losing his re-election bid, Gov. Scott Walker carried 63 of the state’s 99 Assembly districts because of Republican gerrymandering.
“We believe that the legislative Republicans are already working with the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, and they are geared up to do reapportionment in 2021 by means of a joint resolution,” said attorney Lester Pines, who has challenged the constitutionality of laws enacted by the state legislature on voter I.D., abortion restrictions, executive power and other issues. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has already held that redistricting by joint resolution is unconstitutional, but the current court, dominated by Republican-backed justices, might be willing to overturn that 54-year-old precedent, Pines added. “And the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty will be geared up to argue that it is constitutional.”
“I’ve heard about it,” Rick Esenberg, executive director of the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), said of the plan. WILL, a legal institute that backs conservative causes, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Gill v Whitford redistricting case, siding with the Republican state lawmakers who drew the current map.
WILL is not currently working with Republican legislators on the joint-resolution plan, Esenberg said: “Whether we would have anything to do with it, I can’t say.”
(Esenberg’s I can’t say truly means you bet we will: if Esenberg didn’t want to participate, he’d disclaim the project. Vos & Fitzgerald want another ten years of gerrymandering to stay in power, and if that’s what they want, Esenberg will help them. WILL’s funding would slow to a trickle if it said no to the WISGOP.)