After giving Republicans the day to consider scrapping their redistricting plan crafted in secrecy - - an offer on the eve of a trial that the Republicans declined to accept - - the Federal judge and Reagan appointee leading a three-member Court panel that will decide if the redistricting plan is Constitutional took another shot at the GOP in court late Tuesday, according to the Journal Sentinel:
The panel - which includes two judges appointed by Republican presidents and one appointed by a Democratic president - has repeatedly criticized Republican lawmakers in written orders for their secretive process for drawing the maps.In the run-up to the beginning of the case Tuesday, the judges have forced attorneys for legislative Republicans to release documents withheld improperly from both the plaintiffs and the general public, and also fined GOP lawyers $17,500 for having filed frivolous motions - - all of which had made it difficult for plaintiffs to prepare their case.
On Tuesday, they did the same in open court.
"The facts are the facts and what has occurred here is beyond the pale in terms of lack of transparency (and) secrecy," presiding Judge J.P. Stadtmueller. "Appearances are everything and Wisconsin has prided itself one generation after another on openness and fairness in doing the right thing. And to be frank we have seen everything but that in the way this case has proceeded.
"We're going to get to the bottom of the facts so the judges who are called upon to discharge their function can have all the information before them so they can render a fair and just opinion."