You can likely expect to see a number of legal challenges brought to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the coming months thanks to a change in the courts on Tuesday. August 1st will mark the first time in 15 years that the state’s highest court will be controlled by a slim progressive majority after Janet Protasiewicz defeated Dan Kelly earlier this year in the spring election. Cases involving reproductive and voting rights will likely be brought to the court shortly after Protasiewicz begins her term. Redistricting was brought to the forefront earlier this week by State Senator Jeff Smith and State Representative Deb Andraca, who notes that this could be an opportunity to throw out the current maps and institute a system similar to what is used in states like Iowa where an independent commission draws the district lines. Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck says citizens got a taste of what the process could be like when Governor Tony Evers’ office published the People’s Maps Commission report in 2021.
Heck anticipates things will start more partisan for the court, but he hopes the new court will bridge the ideological divide that has widened in recent years.