Friday, April 13, 2012

Federally-Ordered Election Boundaries Leave Milwaukee Absurdities Intact

A three-judge federal panel repaired two Wisconsin State Assembly districts whose boundaries were drawn by GOP legislators in violation of the US Voting Rights Act, but the judges said in their April 11th decision they were leaving other "anomalies" (legal shorthand for craziness) intact because they lacked the authority to fix them.

Remember when you hear Republicans crowing about their redistricting plan that it continues to stick it to the city:

The City of Milwaukee filed a motion for leave to appear as amicus curiae, requesting that the court modify Assembly District 9 to rectify two anomalies created by Act 43 that have resulted in one 5-person and one 1-person municipal ward in Assembly District 7...

We first address the City of Milwaukee’s motion.

While we sympathize with the City’s position and share its concern that the two wards will undermine voter anonymity and unduly burden City officials, we are constrained to deny the relief the City requests. Nothing in our March 22 decision adjudicated any claim establishing a right to the requested remedy, which falls beyond the scope of our March 22 and March 27 orders in any event.

The issues raised by the City are more appropriately addressed in a separate action, if the GAB [state Governmental Accountability Board] is unable to resolve the City’s concerns.

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