On whether Wisconsin is the most gerrymandered state

Boundaries drawn by Republicans for state Assembly and state Senate districts are criticized as being unfair to Democrats. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Boundaries drawn by Republicans for state Assembly and state Senate districts are criticized as being unfair to Democrats. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

A June 18, 2018 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court raised anew questions of whether Wisconsin state’s legislative boundaries are drawn in a fair way.

The high court rejected a landmark redistricting challenge against Wisconsin's GOP-friendly legislative map, saying those who challenged the map lacked legal standing.

That left unsettled the central constitutional questions around partisan gerrymandering, but left in place the current legislative lines in Wisconsin. That is a defeat for Democrats hoping to level the election playing field in the state.   

We took up the gerrymandering question in a March 2017 fact check.

State Sen. Dave Hansen, D-Green Bay, had claimed that Wisconsin is "the most -- if not Number 1, number 2 -- gerrymandered state in the country" for state legislative boundaries -- that is, for the state Assembly and state Senate, both controlled by Republicans.

Our rating was Mostly True.

A federal court had said maps drawn in 2011 by Wisconsin Republicans were among the most heavily skewed to one party of any plan in the country going back more than 40 years.

And, with the caveat that there isn’t a universally accepted definition of gerrymander, two studies put Wisconsin at or near the top.

Go here to read the full fact check.