The Supreme Court will rule on a court case alleging partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin before the 2012 election in what could be a significant victory for Democrats.
The Fair Elections Project, a bipartisan voting rights group, claims the Wisconsin State Assembly, the lower house of the state legislature, redrew district lines in their party's favor after Democrats won the popular vote but ended up with a third fewer seats than the GOP.
Last November, a federal district court agreed with the suit, and struck down the legislative districts.
The court concluded, according to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, that one of the GOP's goals in their redistricting plan "was to secure Republican control of the Assembly under any likely future electoral scenario for the remainder of the decade, in other words to entrench the Republican Party in power."
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court in March, arguing that "this unprecedented decision violates this Court's caselaw in several respects and should not be permitted to stand," according to the Duluth News Tribune.
"My feeling is that there is increasing concern within the court about the extent of partisan gerrymandering over the last 10 or 15 years," Richard H. Pildes, professor of constitutional law at New York University's School of Law, told The New York Times.
"I do think this is a pivotal moment — a big, big moment."
State Assembly speaker Robin Vos denied the court's ruling, telling the Times, "In a year when people want change, even in a district that favors one party over another, a good candidate with a good message wins."
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