From the Federal District court transcript this morning in the redistricting case, along with other procedural and substantive issues discussed and scheduled, Federal Judge J. P. Stadtmueller said, in part - - after a delay and recess because counsel for the Legislature was late in arriving:
... In the interim, against the backdrop of the comments that I have just made and drawing upon the oft quoted phrase of one of my mentors, John Reynolds, it is never too late to engage in meaningful dialogue between counsel and their clients, with regard to how best to proceed with regard to achieving that which every citizen, without regard to party affiliation, without regard to politics, ought to achieve, and that is a fair, just and meaningful redistricting plan.Some earlier legal context.
So what I'm going to suggest is that counsel meet and confer and notify the court by the end of today, and specifically 5:30, whether there is any opportunity available to revisit the entirety of the subject matter that the court has raised in terms of its concerns directly with the parties involved, be they the leadership in the Legislature, the governor, the attorney general and other interested parties, and advise the court as to whether or not there is an opportunity to revisit this legislation in the forum that it should be addressed, namely, the Wisconsin Legislature.
If that avenue is not available for whatever reason, we will commence with the trial starting tomorrow morning at 8:30. Likewise, if there is a good faith effort to achieve legislatively that which everyone would like to see achieved, we will extend the beginning of this trial either to the week of March 12th or March 19th, which means essentially if the Legislature would like to revisit this subject, they, in effect, will have about four weeks to do so, if the trial resumes on Monday, March 19th.
I appreciate that's an awful lot on the opening day of trial for a lot of folks to digest, but I think in the end, with all of the hard effort that has gone into this case thus far, together with the numerous filings, the experts, the advocacy, that those advocacy skills may, at the end of the day, be better addressed in the forum that it should have been addressed initially, and that is in the halls of the Legislature.
If that process not work its way and we are still left where we are this morning, we will resume with the trial either tomorrow morning or the week of March the 12th or March 19th.