Tagwisconsin

Stories about Wisconsin

Facebook was paid $101,978 from Wisconsin campaign accounts; other states reported millions

In Wisconsin, state-level candidates and PACs have spent $101,978 from their campaign accounts on services from Facebook in the 2022 election cycle so far. Facebook received 0.29 percent of all reported expenditures. 

According to reports filed with the Wisconsin Ethics Commission between Jan. 1, 2021, and Mar. 21, 2022, here are the top candidates and PACs that have spent campaign funds with Facebook.

Top 10 Wisconsin campaigns spending money with Facebook

Of the $101,978 spent with Facebook, 87.47 percent came from these 10 campaign accounts.

Top Campaign Expenditures with Facebook (1/1/2021 – 3/21/2022)

RankTotal Paid to FacebookNameAccount Type
1.$37,500.00Demand Justice PACNon-candidate PAC
2.$18,500.00Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin Political FundNon-candidate PAC
3.$12,485.95Jonathan WichmannCandidate PAC
4.$8,506.52Waukesha County Democratic PartyNon-candidate PAC
5.$2,482.93Karl JaegerCandidate PAC
6.$2,360.42Francesca HongCandidate PAC
7.$2,153.57David VarnamCandidate PAC
8.$1,869.89Wisconsin Conservation Voters Independent Expenditure CommitteeNon-candidate PAC
9.$1,736.77Mark SchefflerCandidate PAC
10.$1,600.00Wisconsin Muslim Civic Alliance IncNon-candidate PAC

Campaign expenditures with Facebook in 12 states

Here is how spending with Facebook in Wisconsin compares to 12 other states with data available from Transparency USA for the most recent election cycle:

Comparison of total campaign finance expenditures with Facebook, by state

RankStateTotal Paid to FacebookReporting Period
1California$5,290,7451/1/2021- 4/23/2022
2Virginia$4,486,8631/1/2020-12/31/2021*
3Texas$2,675,2761/1/2021 – 5/14/2022
4Michigan$194,1801/1/2021 – 4/20/2022
5Minnesota$166,0721/1/2021 – 3/31/2022
6Arizona123,1541/1/2021 – 3/31/2022
7Pennsylvania$106,5131/1/2021 – 3/9/2022
8Wisconsin$101,9781/1/2021 – 3/21/2022
9North Carolina$78,9601/1/2021 – 4/30/2022
10Florida$38,5421/1/2021 – 3/31/202
11Indiana$29,5341/1/2021 – 4/8/2022
12Ohio$19,9241/1/2021 – 4/13/2022
*Virginia’s two-year election cycles end in an odd-numbered year. The first available reports for Virginia’s 2023 election cycle are due Jul. 17, 2022.

While spending varies widely between states, no state on Transparency USA has reported more than 1.06 percent of total campaign expenditures on services from Facebook in the most recent cycle.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Wisconsin PACs submitted to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/18/2022
2022 Spring Pre-Primary2/7/2022
2022 Spring Pre-Election3/28/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual7/15/2022
2022 Fall Pre-Primary8/1/2022
2022 Sept Data9/27/2022
2022 Fall Pre-General10/31/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual1/7/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Wisconsin Secretary of State raises no money this election cycle

According to the most recent campaign finance reports filed with the Wisconsin Ethics Commission, Wisconsin Secretary of State Douglas La Follette has raised no money between Jan. 1, 2021 and Mar. 21, 2022. 

La Follette is a member of the Democratic Party and has served in his current office since 1983, with a previous term from 1975-1979. In Wisconsin, the secretary of state is an elected position. Duties vary by state but are generally administrative in nature and may include recordkeeping, certification of state documents, and serving as chief election official. La Follette is running for reelection in 2022.

How donations to La Follette compare to the same office in other states

Contributions vary widely among officeholders in the same role. A number of factors, including whether the position is appointed or elected, can influence donor activity. Here is how La Follette compares to the 10 other state and commonwealth secretaries with campaign finance data available from Transparency USA in 2022:

Across the U.S., 27 secretaries of state are members of the Republican Party and 20 are members of the Democratic Party. Voters elect the secretary of state in 35 states, while they are appointed by either the governor or state legislature in the other 12. Alaska, Hawaii, and Utah do not have secretaries of state. In 2022, 27 states are holding elections for the position.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Wisconsin PACs submitted to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/18/2022
2022 Spring Pre-Primary2/7/2022
2022 Spring Pre-Election3/28/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual7/15/2022
2022 Fall Pre-Primary8/1/2022
2022 Sept Data9/27/2022
2022 Fall Pre-General10/31/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual1/7/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Mellen School District votes to prohibit race from being discussed during American history lessons

The Mellon School Board in Wisconsin voted on April 20, 2022, to adopt a new policy to prohibit race from being discussed during American history lessons. This decision follows a vote in March that barred subjects such as critical race theory, religion, sexual orientation, privilege, empathy, and political orientation from being taught in classrooms. 

The school board’s new policy adopted its language following survey responses from parents. Besides barring discussions of race during history lessons, the new policy states that gender and sexual orientation can be discussed using only what is described as fact-based information rather than theory or discussion. Teachers are allowed to address topics such as privilege but cannot discuss race when doing so. Similarly, educators may talk about equity but are prohibited from mentioning race, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

According to the survey conducted by Mellen School District, 72% of responders opposed teaching sexual orientation; 73% opposed teaching gender identity; 66% opposed teaching critical race theory, and 68% opposed teaching white privilege. Conversely, 64% of responders support teaching empathy, 58% supported teaching inclusion, and 56% support teaching anti-racism.

Eight teachers submitted a letter to the board against the new policy. They argue the policy will deprive students of the opportunity to practice the reasoning and communication skills necessary to develop and defend their own opinion regarding these topics, according to the Ashland Daily Press



Here are the top 10 places Wisconsin candidates and PACs are spending campaign money

In Wisconsin politics, state-level candidates and PACs spent $34.71 million between Jan. 1, 2021, and Mar. 31, 2022. More than $6.01 million or 17.30 percent of all campaign finance expenditures went to the 10 payees at the top of the list. 

A payee is an entity or individual who has received money from a campaign account. Candidates and PACs must report campaign expenditures, including payments to vendors, donations to other campaign accounts, and bank transfers, to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission.

Top 10 Wisconsin payees (1/1/2021 – 3/21/22)

Here are the top 10 recipients of Wisconsin campaign money in the 2022 election cycle, as of the most recent reports. 

RankPayee Name Total Received
1.Strother Nuckels Strategies$960,640.46
2.Democratic Party of Wisconsin (Federal Account)$915,363.01
3.DPW Federal Account$903,528.49
4.Targeted Media Platform LLC$780,210.00
5.Paychex of New York LLC$552,869.74
6.Cleansweep Campaigns$427,791.34
7.Pointer Marketing Inc$388,985
8.Scasey Communications$377,067.68
9.Gps Impact$369,167.88
10.Adp Inc$330,089.34

Total Expenditures in nine states during the 2022 election cycle

Campaign finance expenditures vary widely among state-level candidates and PACs. A number of factors, including state-specific campaign finance regulations, influence how expenditure activity varies across states. Here is how total campaign finance expenditures in Wisconsin compared to eight other states with data available from Transparency USA for the 2022 election cycle:

Comparison of total expenditures, by state

RankStateTotal ExpendituresReporting Period
1Texas$337,432,3511/1/2022 – 2/19/2022
2Pennsylvania$319,374,3891/1/2022 – 3/9/2022
3Florida$302,254,1341/1/2022 – 2/28/2022
4Michigan$71,971,7871/1/2022 – 4/20/2022
5Arizona63,716,6171/1/2022 – 3/31/2022
6Ohio$59,240,3971/1/2022 – 4/13/2022
7Wisconsin$34,706,0221/1/2022 – 3/21/2022
8Indiana$32,159,3981/1/2022 – 4/8/2022
9North Carolina$22,543,0371/1/2022 – 12/31/2021

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Wisconsin PACs submitted to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/18/2022
2022 Spring Pre-Primary2/7/2022
2022 Spring Pre-Election3/28/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual7/15/2022
2022 Fall Pre-Primary8/1/2022
2022 Sept Data9/27/2022
2022 Fall Pre-General10/31/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual1/7/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



The top 10 Wisconsin candidates raised 35.8% of all donations

In Wisconsin politics, state-level candidates and PACs raised $55.6 million between Jan. 1, 2021, and Mar. 21, 2022. More than $19.9 million or 35.8 percent of all donations was raised by the 10 individuals at the top of the list.

Top 10 Wisconsin candidates (1/1/2021 – 3/21/2022)

Here are the 10 Wisconsin candidates who have raised the most money so far in the 2022 election cycle, according to the most recent campaign finance reports filed with the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. 

RankCandidate Name Total DonationsTotal Expenditures
1.Tony Evers$10,383,804.02$3,257,857.58
2.Rebecca Kleefisch$3,380,231.15$979,478.05
3.Jeff Davis$1,743,823.39$1,146,602.21
4.Jill Underly$1,503,583.08$1,510,685.35
5.Josh Kaul$1,093,446.17$257,083.56
6.Lori Kornblum$523,974.28$189,956.84
7.Ryan Owens$408,327.10$402,556.22
8.Shelley Grogan$381,617.24$364,577.71
9.Patrick Testin$249,413.74$117,388.60
10.Deborah Kerr$239,304.20$265,152.70

Donations to top candidates in 10 states during the 2022 election cycle

Among state-level candidates and officeholders, fundraising varies widely. A number of factors, including state-specific campaign finance regulations, influence how donor activity varies across states. Here is how donations to the top 10 Wisconsin candidates compare to nine other states with data available from Transparency USA for the 2022 election cycle:

Comparison of donations to top 10 candidates, by state

RankStateDonations to Top 10 CandidatesTotal DonationsReporting Period
1Florida$110,704,048.67$532,230,957.551/1/2021 – 2/28/2022
2Texas$105,345,995.42$375,309,268.771/1/2021 – 2/19/2022
3Pennsylvania$34,501,470.61$343,783,026.521/1/2021 – 3/09/2022
4Michigan$25,358,422.95$89,192,492.111/1/2021 – 12/31/2021
5Ohio$24,752,903.97$79,210,717.621/1/2021 – 4/13/2022
6Arizona$22,291,313.55$72,806,908.751/1/2021 – 12/31/2021
7Wisconsin$19,907,524.3755,603,885.141/1/2021 – 3/21/2022
8North Carolina$8,927,365.01$39,859,339.461/1/2021 – 12/31/2021
9Indiana$7,661,472.0249,459,363.581/1/2021 – 4/8/2022
10Minnesota$5,201,704.60$36,935,152.761/1/2021 – 12/31/2021

In some states, officeholders may accept donations to their campaign accounts when they are not up for election. Any reported donations by those officeholders are included in candidate donation numbers.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Wisconsin candidate PACs submitted to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/18/2022
2022 Spring Pre-Primary2/7/2022
2022 Spring Pre-Election3/28/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual7/15/2022
2022 Fall Pre-Primary8/1/2022
2022 Sept Data9/27/2022
2022 Fall Pre-General10/31/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual1/7/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



DPW Segregated Fund outraises every other Wisconsin PAC with $12.45 million

In Wisconsin, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) Segregated Fund has raised more than any other non-candidate political action committee (PAC) in the 2022 election cycle so far. According to the most recent campaign finance reports filed with the Wisconsin Ethics Commission, the DPW Segregated Fund raised $12.45 million and spent $XX million between Jan. 1, 2021 and Mar. 21, 2022. 

In Wisconsin politics, donations to the DPW Segregated Fund represent 42.97 percent of the $28.99 million all Wisconsin state-level PACs have raised. Here are the DPW Segregated Fund’s top donors and recipients, as reported to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission.

Donations to the DPW Segregated Fund

Of the $12,453,538 raised in the 2022 election cycle, 62.47 percent came from the DPW Segregated Fund’s top 10 donors.

Top Donations to the DPW Segregated Fund (1/1/2021 – 3/21/2022)

RankTotal AmountDonor NameDonor Type
1.$2,381,020.22Karla T JurvetsonINDIVIDUAL
2.$1,480,000.00Sage WeilINDIVIDUAL
3.$960,000.00Elise LawsonINDIVIDUAL
4.$750,000.00George SorosINDIVIDUAL
5.$608,237.10Tony EversENTITY
6.$490,000.00Reid HoffmanINDIVIDUAL
7.$300,000.00Florida Democratic PartyENTITY
8.$290,000.00Lynde B UihleinINDIVIDUAL
9.$270,000.00Robert PriceINDIVIDUAL
10.$250,000.00JB PritzkerINDIVIDUAL

Expenditures by the DPW Segregated Fund

On the expenditures side, the DPW Segregated Fund reported $7,843,750, with 87.4 percent of all spending going to the 10 payees topping the list. Payees include both contribution recipients and vendors, as filed by the PAC.

Top DPW Segregated Fund Payees (1/1/2021 – 3/21/2022)

RankTotal AmountPayee NamePayee Type
1.$2,931,481.29Tony EversENTITY
2.$951,000.46Jill UnderlyENTITY
3.$915,363.01Democratic Party of Wisconsin (Federal Account)ENTITY
4.$903,091.49DPW Federal AccountENTITY
5.$552,869.74Paychex of New York LLCENTITY
6.$204,758.49Davis for JudgeENTITY
7.$118,679.26Cavalier Johnson CampaignENTITY
8.$113,965.00Weymouth WatsonENTITY
9.$83,666.00Strategy Group for MediaENTITY
10.$80,934.60Scasey CommunicationsENTITY

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Wisconsin PACs submitted to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. Federal PACs are not required to report to state agencies. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/18/2022
2022 Spring Pre-Primary2/7/2022
2022 Spring Pre-Election3/28/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual7/15/2022
2022 Fall Pre-Primary8/1/2022
2022 Sept Data9/27/2022
2022 Fall Pre-General10/31/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual1/7/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Wisconsin Speaker Vos raised $131,871 this election cycle

According to the most recent campaign finance reports made to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has raised $131,871 and spent $16,639 between Jan. 1, 2021 and Mar. 21, 2022.

The speaker of the Wisconsin General Assembly is the leader of the state’s lower chamber. Rep. Vos is a member of the Republican Party and has served as a state representative since 2005. His current term ends in 2023.

Rep. Vos’ reported campaign finance activity, by quarter (2017-2021)

Source: Transparency USA

Contributions to Rep. Vos

Of the $131,871 already reported in the 2022 election cycle, 53.8 percent came from the top 71 donors who each gave $1000.

Expenditures by Rep. Vos

On the expenditures side, Vos reported $16,639, with 83.2 percent of all spending going to the 10 payees topping this list. 

Top Expenditures by Vos (1/1/2021 – 3/21/2022)

RankPayee Name Total AmountType
1.$3,405.76Heinzen Printing & PromotionalEntity
2.$2,131.24Rep Assembly Campaign Com Racc – Seg FundEntity
3.$1,703.91Internal Revenue ServiceEntity
4.$1,432.10Knights Gourmet PopcornEntity
5.$1,000.00Elijah BehnkeEntity
6.$1,000.00William PentermanEntity
7.$1,000.00World Orphan FundEntity
8.$880.74Paige L GeorgeEntity
9.$735.44Robin Voss CampaignEntity
10.$545.58Village Graphics PrintingEntity

How Rep. Vos’ fundraising compares to other state speakers

Among members of the state legislature, fundraising varies widely. A number of factors, including whether an incumbent officeholder is running for re-election, influence donor activity. Here is how fundraising by Vos compares to the nine other state speakers with campaign finance data available from Transparency USA for the 2022 election cycle:

Fundraising reported by 10 state speakers in the 2022 election cycle

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Wisconsin PACs submitted to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/18/2022
2022 Spring Pre-Primary2/7/2022
2022 Spring Pre-Election3/28/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual7/15/2022
2022 Fall Pre-Primary8/1/2022
2022 Sept Data9/27/2022
2022 Fall Pre-General10/31/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual1/7/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



These PACs are the best fundraisers in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin politics, non-candidate political action committees (PACs) have received $22.6 million in total donations between January 1, 2021, and January 31, 2022. The top 10 PACs raised more than $15.6 million, or 69 percent of all donations made to state-level PACs.

These are the top 10 PACs in Wisconsin state-level politics in the 2022 election cycle, according to the most recent campaign finance reports submitted to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission:

Top 10 Wisconsin PACs (1/1/2021 – 1/31/2022)

RankDonor NameTotal Donations
1Democratic Party of Wisconsin – Seg Fund$8,139,012
2Rep Assembly Campaign Com Racc – Seg Fund$1,685,843
3Republican Party of Wisconsin – Seg Fund$1,521,015
4Committee to Elect a Republican Senate – Seg Fund$1,005,628
5A Better Wisconsin Together Political Fund$860,228
6Assembly Democratic Camp Comm – Seg Fund$684,127
7Operating Engineers 139 PAC$525,100
8Weac PAC$504,279
9State Senate Democratic Comm – Seg Fund$413,277
10Rebecca PAC$282,680

A PAC is broadly defined as a group that spends money on elections. They may be established and administered by corporations, labor unions, membership organizations, or trade associations.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Wisconsin PACs submitted to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. Federal PACs are not required to report to state agencies. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/18/2022
2022 Spring Pre-Primary2/7/2022
2022 Spring Pre-Election3/28/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual7/15/2022
2022 Fall Pre-Primary8/1/2022
2022 Sept Data9/27/2022
2022 Fall Pre-General10/31/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual1/7/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Wisconsin Gov. Evers receives $10.4 million, with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin as top donor

In Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers is the number one fundraiser in state politics in the 2022 election cycle so far. According to the most recent campaign finance reports made to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission, the governor received $10,383,804 in total contributions and spent $3,257,858 between January 1, 2021 and January 31, 2022. He is running for re-election in 2022.

Gov. Evers is a member of the Democratic Party and first assumed office in 2019.

Gov. Evers’ reported campaign finance activity, by quarter (2017-2021)

Source: Transparency USA

Contributions to Gov. Evers

Of the $10.4 million already reported in the 2022 election cycle, 27.9 percent came from the top 10 donors.

Top Donors to Gov. Evers (1/1/2021 – 1/31/2022)

RankTotal AmountDonor NameDonor Type
1.$2,248,206Democratic Party of Wisconsin – Seg FundEntity
2.$86,000American Federation of Teachers Cope FederalEntity
3.$86,000Democratic Governors Association FederalEntity
4.$86,000Engineers Political Education CommitteeEntity
5.$86,000Liuna PACEntity
6.$86,000SEIU COPE – FederalEntity
7.$64,500Democrat Republican Independent Voter Education DRIVE FederalEntity
8.$56,000Wisconsin Carpenters PACEntity
9.$51,000Ibew FederalEntity
10.$48,500WI Laborers District CouncilEntity

Expenditures by Gov. Evers

On the expenditures side, Gov. Evers reported $3.3 million, with 63.5 percent of all spending going to the 10 payees topping the list. 

Top Expenditures by Gov. Evers (1/1/2021 – 1/31/2022)

RankTotal AmountPayee NamePayee Type
1.$427,791Cleansweep CampaignsEntity
2.$330,089ADP IncEntity
3.$288,206Democratic Party of Wisconsin – Seg FundEntity
4.$214,000Path to Victory LLCEntity
5.$202,184New Blue Interactive LLCEntity
6.$165,692Actblue WisconsinEntity
7.$142,040GbaoEntity
8.$114,177New TerriEntity
9.$101,034Cassi FeniliEntity
10.$84,204Mitchel WallaceEntity

How Gov. Evers’ fundraising compares to other governors

Among elected officials holding the same level of state office, fundraising varies widely. A number of factors, including whether an incumbent officeholder is running for reelection, influence donor activity. Here is how fundraising by Wisconsin Gov. Evers compares to the 10 other governors with campaign finance data available from Transparency USA in 2022:

Fundraising reported by 11 U.S. governors in the 2022 election cycle

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Wisconsin PACs submitted to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/18/2022
2022 Spring Pre-Primary2/7/2022
2022 Spring Pre-Election3/28/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual7/15/2022
2022 Fall Pre-Primary8/1/2022
2022 Sept Data9/27/2022
2022 Fall Pre-General10/31/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual1/7/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



U.S. Supreme Court blocks Wisconsin state legislative maps

The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision on March 23 adopting Gov. Tony Evers’ (D) state house and senate redistricting maps and remanded the case for further proceedings. The Supreme Court found that the Wisconsin Supreme Court erred in its analysis of precedent on how the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause should apply in race-based districting cases.

In its opinion, the Supreme Court wrote: “The question that our [Voting Rights Act of 1965] precedents ask and the court failed to answer is whether a race-neutral alternative that did not add a seventh majority-black district would deny black voters equal political opportunity. Answering that question requires an ‘intensely local appraisal’ of the challenged district.” The Supreme Court ruled the state supreme court did not conduct the appraisal correctly, writing, “When the Wisconsin Supreme Court endeavored to undertake a full strict-scrutiny analysis, it did not do so properly under our precedents, and its judgment cannot stand.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote an opinion dissenting from the court’s judgment, joined by Justice Elena Kagan. In her dissent, Sotomayor wrote: “The Court’s action today is unprecedented…Despite the fact that summary reversals are generally reserved for decisions in violation of settled law, the Court today faults the State Supreme Court for its failure to comply with an obligation that, under existing precedent, is hazy at best.” Sotomayor said because the state court “rightly preserved the possibility that an appropriate plaintiff could bring an equal protection or [Voting Rights Act] challenge in the proper forum,” she “would allow that process to unfold, rather than further complicating these proceedings with legal confusion through a summary reversal.”

The Wisconsin Supreme Court must now reconsider the case and decide how to redraw the state’s legislative districts. According to the U.S. Supreme Court opinion, the state court “is free to take additional evidence if it prefers to reconsider the Governor’s maps rather than choose from among the other submissions. Any new analysis, however, must comply with our equal protection jurisprudence.”

The case is the fourth legal challenge to district maps to reach the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2020 redistricting cycle. In a 5-4 order on Feb. 7, the court allowed a proposed Alabama congressional redistricting map to be implemented while under challenge in federal court for illegal racial gerrymandering in the case Merrill v. Milligan. The court issued orders on March 7 in two redistricting cases, Moore v. Harper in North Carolina and Toth v. Chapman in Pennsylvania, upholding the enacted congressional maps in both states.

Additional reading: