The state’s so gerrymandered that Republicans can lose the popular vote and win supermajorities. Now they want to impeach a liberal justice before she’s ruled on a single case
If you need a reminder that the Republican party’s problem with democracy extends beyond the antics of Donald Trump, look no further than Wisconsin. A battle is under way there which began before the January 6 insurrection was even a twinkle in Trump’s eye, and which will do much to determine the future of democracy in America whether Trump ultimately answers for his crimes or not. It’s no exaggeration to say that Wisconsin and its state capitol, Madison, are now the front line of the battle to save American democracy.
In 2011, Republicans gerrymandered Wisconsin’s state legislature so badly that the party can win supermajorities despite losing the popular vote, as it did in 2018. Voters have fought back, and earlier this year they elected Janet Protasiewicz to the state supreme court, ushering in a new liberal majority which looked poised to finally overturn the gerrymander and bring democratic regime change to Madison.
Andrew Gawthorpe is a historian of the United States at Leiden University. He hosts a podcast called America Explained and writes a newsletter of the same name