Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Subpoened Documents Again Surface Late In Redistricting Trial

The pattern continues.

After lawyers for the State of Wisconsin and GOP legislators were ordered by angry Federal judges to give plaintiffs records in a lawsuit against the GOP's secretive redistricting plan, and having already once belatedly located dozens of previously undisclosed emails, it turns out that additional email records have been found and released.

Testimony in the case ended some time ago. The judges decision could come any day. And all records were supposed to have been disclosed by court order.

I wrote this a month ago, and it's amazing that I could basically write the same thing again today about piecemeal compliance with court orders and essential courtroom fairness:

...the judges have already forced the GOP attorneys to release records withheld from the public and the suit's plaintiffs, and fined the GOP attorneys $17.500 for having muddied the case and its schedule by filing motions the judges said were frivolous.

Late Tuesday update: The trial may move forward Wednesday, or be delayed. But do you want to know what an iJudge J. P. Stadtmueller sounds like when reacting to news of the piecemeal disclosure of documents he'd ordered be released, and to other actions by the defense in this case? From the court transcript:

...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.
All in all, what a dismissive display by the state and its GOP legislative leadership and staff.

And what an admission that they really don't give a hoot about process.

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