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WisEye Morning Minute: Johnson v. WEC

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As reported by, during the Johnson v. WEC case on redistricting, the Wisconsin State Justices questioned parties about their approach to the court's instruction that they take a "least-change" approach to the current lines. That includes how that directive impacts the requirement that districts be uniform in population within certain parameters. Under the current map, there are 125 municipality splits in the Assembly seats and 84 in the Senate. The governor's proposed map has 115 in the Assembly and 76 in the Senate. The Legislature's proposal is 28 in the Senate and 48 in the Assembly. Taylor Meehan, an attorney for GOP lawmakers, urged the justices to reject the maps from the governor and the BLOC plaintiffs, arguing they had too large of a population deviation among districts. The attorneys for Evers and the BLOC plaintiffs argued those deviations are within allowable limits. Justice Brian Hagedorn, who has been the swing vote in key cases, said having smaller population deviations among districts is a commendable choice, but not a constitutional prerequisite. He argued when the court set the parameters for the maps it wanted parties to submit with a focus on a least-change approach, it didn't place an emphasis on having precisely equal populations in each district. "I don't want to be a Charlie Brown and Lucy here," he said, referring to the long-running gag in the cartoon series of Lucy asking her friend to kick a football before pulling it away at the last second.

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