LETTER: Court’s voting map ruling puts democracy on thin ice in state

To Ozaukee Press:

I was dismayed but not surprised that our Wisconsin Supreme Court voted 4-3 to basically maintain the current legislative district maps. The most specious argument seems to have come from Justice Rebecca Bradley, who contended that the justices must make as few changes as possible as a way to “respect the past choices lawmakers have made.”

Where was the respect shown to all of the lawmakers 10 years ago when the maps where drawn behind closed doors using computer algorithms known only to a few to maximize Republican’s advantage? Where was the respect shown to the voters of Wisconsin who have repeatedly voiced their desire to eliminate partisan redistricting?

Justice Bradley further contends, “Claims of political unfairness in the maps present political questions not legal ones.” She further states that the questions “must be resolved through the political process and not by the judiciary.” How can the voters use the political process when the current political process has essentially been stripped of meaning?

Is not the right to vote a legal question? Is not the right to have all votes counted equally a legal question? How can issues so fundamental to our democracy not have the weight of a legal question to this court?         

The outrageous maps created 10 years ago removed any chance of reform through the political process. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has just placed our democracy on very thin ice for another 10 years. With global warming, it is unclear just how long this ice will even last.

Mark Gennis
Mequon

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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