By Tim Kowols
A United States Supreme Court case on redistricting reform in Wisconsin could have larger ramifications across the country this year. According to the Los Angeles Times, Republican leaders in Pennsylvania asked for the high court Monday to intervene after the state’s Supreme Court ruled 5-2 that its congressional map was the result of partisan gerrymandering last week. Pennsylvania joins North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Maryland as states with pending litigation on the issue following partisan and racial lines. Redistricting reform advocates point to Iowa, which has used a nonpartisan, independent agency to draw its maps. Although the Iowa model does allow the state legislature to draw its own maps after rejecting the agency’s plans twice, Jay Heck from Common Cause Wisconsin says that would be unlikely regardless of which party is in power.
Heck is a proponent of the Iowa model for redistricting, which might be an option for Wisconsin lawmakers pending the Supreme Court’s decision expected in the coming months.