Friday, March 23, 2012

Winning Plaintiffs In Redistricting Case Seek Court Help Drawing New District Maps

Given Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald's refusal Thursday to bring the Senate into session to rewrite boundaries Federal judges ruled were illegally-drawn by the Legislature for predominantly-Latino districts, the winning plaintiffs today petitioned the judges for a hearing where proposed maps to remedy the situation could be submitted.

More later about Fitzgerald's defiance and the new monkey-wrench he's thrown into the process.

Update from the Journal Sentinel:

Madison - Democrats and Latinos asked a federal court Friday to immediately accept briefs on drawing new election maps because the Senate Republican leader has said the Legislature will not take up the issue.

A panel of three federal judges ruled Thursday that Assembly Districts 8 and 9 violated the voting rights of Latinos and that lawmakers should redraw them quickly. But just hours after the decision came out, Senate Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau said there was "not a chance" he would allow the Senate to reconvene and that he instead wanted the judges to fix the problem.

In response, the groups who brought the lawsuit filed a motion Friday contending Republicans were defying the court's decision. They asked the judges to quickly accept proposed maps from the parties and hold a half-day hearing on them the week of April 9.

"In the vacuum now intentionally left by the Legislature, the court has no alternative but to proceed," the motion says. "If the legislative leadership changes its mind, an unlikely prospect given its unequivocal statements, the court always can suspend its work and adjourn any scheduled hearing."
Update: More on the petition to the court. 

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