By Patrick Marley

MADISON – A divided state Supreme Court approved election maps Thursday that were drawn by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers but will let Republicans keep the upper hand in races for the Legislature. 

Thursday’s decision was 4-3, with Justice Brian Hagedorn breaking from conservatives and joining liberals to form a majority. 

The decision built off of a November ruling that said the justices would make as few changes as possible to the maps that have been in place since 2011. Those maps are heavily Republican, so the November ruling ensured whatever maps the justices chose also tilted that way. 

Sixty of the 99 Assembly seats will lean Republican and 22 of the 33 state Senate seats will lean Republican, according to a December analysis of the maps by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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