UW-Madison professor of political science David Canon testified at the Wisconsin State Capitol in favor of the Iowa-style model for non-partisan redistricting. Canon appeared on Capitol City Sunday to discuss the recent federal ruling declaring Wisconsin's state Assembly districts unconstitutional.
The Republicans' counter-argument in the case was that their maps abide by all current rules, said Canon, who chairs the political science department.
“Basically the Republican party’s defense is, ‘Hey, we’ve always done it this way, both parties have always done it this way. We did respect additional redistricting principles … and we didn’t have any grievous violations on traditional lines, so this should be okay,’” Canon said.
The federal 2-1 ruling didn’t offer a solution to rectify the unconstitutionally gerrymandered maps, but instead asked the parties to file briefs suggesting remedies. The parties were given thirty days to come up with ideas. This is unusual, as courts usually end up redrawing the lines, Canon said.
“It was really unusual; they basically punted on this,” Canon said. “My guess is the two (judges) just couldn't agree.”