By Sara Swann

Wisconsin’s next election maps will almost certainly be drawn by judges, and deciding which ones could have a profound impact on the dynamics of redistricting and the state’s political balance of power for a decade.

Conservatives launched a bid Wednesday to steer the task to the state Supreme Court, which has a reliably right-leaning majority, and away from the less predictable federal courts that have refereed the process in the past.

The coming dispute will be watched closely by critics of partisan gerrymandering. They are keen to prevent a repeat of a successful Republican line-drawing effort a decade ago that has preserved outsized GOP power in the decidedly purple state.

Once the delayed-by-coronavirus census counts are done next year, Republicans assured to remain in control of the Legislature will get the first crack at drawing legislative and congressional boundaries — and Democratic Gov. Tony Evers will almost as surely veto them. State law says a court then dictates the final maps.

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