Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Federal Judges Swat Away GOP Concern; Put Lawmakers Under Pressure To Act

The three-judge Federal panel hearing preliminary issues Wednesday morning in a Milwaukee courtroom to determine if GOP Legislative redistricting maps drawn in secret are Constitutional brushed aside legal chaff tossed out by the Republicans' lawyers.

The judges asserted their authority and gave the lawmakers a few more hours to decide whether to begin redrawing the maps right now, or to proceed with a quick trial on the Constitutional questions - - and that sure looks like a win for those alleging the redistricting embedded disenfranchisement and violated minority voters' civil rights law.

Reporting details, here:

This is the second time in two days that the Court has laid down high-pressure decide-now-deadlines - - suggesting that the judges don't like the maps as drawn, or the processes by which the drafting took place.

Yesterday, continuing a series of tough words, orders and even an earlier fine for filing frivolous motions - - the chief judge in the case delivered this admonishment to one of the attorneys for the state:

...we have had enough of the charade and mischaracterization. I don't mean to impugn either you or anyone associated with this case, but as they say, the facts are the facts. What has occurred here is beyond the pale in terms of lack of transparency, secrecy, and at the end of the day, as the court has commented earlier, it may not have anything to do with the price of tea in China, but appearances are everything, and Wisconsin has prided itself for one generation after another on openness and fairness and doing the right thing.
To be candid, we have seen everything but that in the way this case has progressed. Not because of anything that you did...or anybody else, but the facts are the facts, and so we're going to get to the bottom of the facts so that the judges who are called upon to discharge their function have all of the information before us that will result in a fair, just and complete opinion.
That's what this case is all about. So to the extent that additional discovery is required, it's going to happen.
Rather than clutter up the text here with links, I will say that there were four more-or-less-continuous blog posts yesterday here on these issues, just fyi.

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