It’s not unexpected. In many ways it was inevitable after Republicans (technically the races are non-partisan) lost their state Supreme Court majority with the election of Janet Protasiewicz back in April. But it’s still a very big deal. The Wisconsin state Supreme Court has ruled that the state’s GOP gerrymander is unconstitutional and ordered the legislature to draw new maps for the 2024 general election. If the current gerrymandered legislature can’t agree on a plan with Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, the court said it’s prepared to create its own.
For a decade Wisconsin has had one of the most comprehensively gerrymandered state legislatures in the country. Wisconsin is a consummate swing state, with gubernatorial and Senate elections routinely being decided by the smallest of margins. But the only real question in state legislative elections has been whether Republicans will have a majority or a super-majority.
State Republicans had first threatened to impeach the newly elected Protasiewicz in advance of any ruling on what were widely panned as specious grounds. But for months it’s seemed doubtful they would be willing or able to follow through with that threat. Just this week Assembly Speaker Robin Vos called impeachment “super unlikely.”