Skip to main content

A trio of federal judges assigned to hear a suit challenging Wisconsin's new legislative redistricting plan has dismissed a motion brought by Republican state legislators and their lawyers. The motion sought to protect evidence that the defendants say are protected by attorney/client privilege. It is the third such motion dismissed by the panel, and they are clearly not going to entertain any more delays. In addition to calling the motions frivolous, their ruling reads in part:

Quite frankly, the Legislature and the actions of its counsel give every appearance of flailing wildly in a desperate attempt to hide from both the court and the public the true nature of exactly what transpired in the redistricting process

In addition, the judges said they...

...will not suffer the sort of disinformation, foot-dragging, and obfuscation now being engaged in by Wisconsin's elected officials and/or their attorneys.

The judges also sanctioned three attorneys from the law firm of Michael Best and Freidrich and ordered the defendants to pay some attorney fees for the group that brought the lawsuit.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The case is being heard by J.P. Stadtmueller of the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Diane P. Wood of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Robert M. Dow Jr. of the Northern District of Illinois.

Stadtmueller was appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan, Wood by Democratic President Bill Clinton and Dow by Republican President George W. Bush.

The Journal Sentinel reminds its readers that one of the attorneys being sanctioned was also the attorney for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman in 2008 when Gableman faced ethics charges related to his campaign for the Supreme Court. Gableman, in a highly unusual contractual arrangement with Michael Best and Friedrich, received those services for free and is now facing additional ethics complaints because of it.

Republican legislators drew up the new maps with almost no input from local officials, then hastily passed the plan shortly before several state Senate recall elections in the summer of 2011. The maps have been criticized by many for severe gerrymandering and for disenfranchising minority groups. The trial is scheduled for February.

UPDATED with Cady Brownell's comments from below, including more excerpts from the ruling:

In 13 years of practice, I have never seen a court so ticked off (and so willing to use metaphors to explain why):
In the Court's eyes, this motion is nothing more than a third bite at the apple that the Court has twice explained is a bitter one to chew.
[snip]

Simply put, the Legislature's motion is a non-starter. . .

[snip]

Indeed, the arguments advanced by the Legislature more than suggest that it wishes to have its cake and eat it too.

[snip]

The Court could go on with the Legislature's internally-inconsistent flip-flopping and hair-splitting. . . .

And that's not all.  The Court is very clear that it understands what the Walker regime is trying to do:

[T]he Court's previous rulings stand:  the Legislature has taken action that affects the voting rights of Wisconsin's citizens and now attempts to cloak the record of that action behind a charade masking as a privilege.

But here is, IMO, the money quote:

Finally, given the Legislature's refusal to adequately cooperate in the discovery process, despite the Court's having twice denied their requests for privilege, the Court reaffirms its earlier directive:  cooperate immediately.  Neither this Court, the parties in the case, nor Wisconsin's citizens have the interest or time to endure the litigation tactics being used by public officials or their private counsel in what has quickly become a poorly disguised attempt to cover up a process that should have been public from the outset, despite the Legislature's concerted efforts to mask the process behind the closed doors of a private law firm.

The sanctions against the Michael Best attorneys are not just for the expenses incurred for opposing what the Court correctly labels a frivolous motion - they are also ordered to pay any expenses the defendants incur going forward should the Walker Regime continue to oppose the Court's order to produce all the information requested in discovery.

Yowza!  Grab the popcorn and stay tuned.

Originally posted to Giles Goat Boy on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 05:48 AM PST.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, Progressive Hippie, and ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Velocity, JekyllnHyde, Alumbrados, Angie in WA State, JWC, Sylv, Illinois Democrat, Alfred E Newman, DeminNewJ, RF, fcvaguy, scribeboy, dragonlady, Odysseus, ogre, teacherken, CalifSherry, glitterscale, Geenius at Wrok, badger, kaleidescope, lost, madmsf, kainah, RunawayRose, nmjardine, Eman, wu ming, Heather in SFBay, Andrew C White, SanJoseLady, hyperstation, Stein, mslat27, celdd, eeff, Andrew M, saluda, recentdemocrat, freelunch, WI Deadhead, Matilda, wenchacha, exNYinTX, jancw, expatjourno, niemann, Creosote, regis, Heart of the Rockies, concernedamerican, emmanuel, Zinman, susans, EricS, cyberKosFan, kalihikane, whenwego, ask, highacidity, KMc, Bionic, mkfarkus, roses, limae, itskevin, jalbert, WI Teacher, oceanview, Cedwyn, antirove, hopeful, revsue, Redfire, caseynm, psnyder, nancelot, TexDem, Dallasdoc, American Zapatista, 2laneIA, Ophelia, CarbonFiberBoy, dwahzon, Chirons apprentice, Steven Payne, Sychotic1, Daniel Case, Calidrissp, liberte, annetteboardman, cevad, One bite at a time, blonde moment, AllisonInSeattle, peterj911, zett, zerelda, Curt Matlock, WisVoter, lonespark, hayden, jcrit, eve, boran2, Josiah Bartlett, rmx2630, bibble, Sassy, J Orygun, Longwing, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, kmbaya, weelzup, davidkc, rapala, Skennet Boch, la motocycliste, G2geek, ExStr8, bobdevo, maybeeso in michigan, bloomer 101, radarlady, 3goldens, Treg, NoMoreLies, ichibon, Unit Zero, UncleCharlie, liberalcheesehead, Chinton, irate, PBen, JohnB47, grimjc, Simplify, MT Spaces, dewtx, ChemBob, Gary Norton, reflectionsv37, Byrnt, fixxit, eru, scribe69, Viceroy, majcmb1, Sun Tzu, jimreyn, GreyHawk, Overseas, Ice Blue, CompaniaHill, RichterScale, Sandino, kaliope, kazoo of the north, rb608, Ozzie, petestern, wiscmass, EeDan, sodalis, Balachan, Pluto, bunsk, JanL, Alan Arizona, kathny, begone, reddbierd, skywriter, alrdouglas, occams hatchet, golfervet, Sanuk, BachFan, chicagoblueohio, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Pinko Elephant, myboo, cybersaur, 417els, Mr Bojangles, Clytemnestra, BlueInARedState, tobendaro, kestrel9000, ruleoflaw, mskitty, sleipner, arlene, claudette, sailmaker, blueoasis, eglantine, aloevera, wild hair, Native Light, real world chick, JVolvo, joe shikspack, NearlyNormal, plf515, bleeding heart, Preston S, tommyfocus2003, ER Doc, middleagedhousewife, anninla, llbear, onionjim, engine17, IL clb, doingbusinessas, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Mindtrain, blueoregon, kurt, MadMs, chgobob, Statusquomustgo, bstotts, sea note, Quicklund, Aaa T Tudeattack, cpresley, krwheaton, DBunn, Thinking Fella, The Knute, ammasdarling, Tamar, mlee, Sapere aude, bluicebank, ChadmanFL, asilomar, Haningchadus14, Loudoun County Dem, jhecht, ColoTim, rgjdmls, la urracca, jeanette0605, Cofcos, HeartlandLiberal, gustynpip, Dave in Northridge, sfbob, davehouck, bnasley, rantsposition, Seneca Doane, Midwesterners, jedennis, stcroix cheesehead, jnhobbs, hopi13, OIL GUY, Rumarhazzit, GeorgeXVIII, leonard145b, crystalboy, Korkenzieher, janatallow, trueblueliberal, TomP, Empower Ink, rmonroe, JDWolverton, 123man, hkorens, AnnieJo, TX Freethinker, BobBlueMass, PDXTom, wayoutinthestix, ScottyUrb, Sixty Something, Youffraita, AshesAllFallDown, Involuntary Exile, dadadata, NewDealer, bythesea, elwior, CDH in Brooklyn, ajr111240, OutCarolineStreet, lineatus, alasmoses, Its any one guess, jakebob, monkeybrainpolitics, Calamity Jean, Lujane, tofumagoo, Jake Williams, TokenLiberal, Jeff Y, catly, jorogo, envwq, mofembot, Seamus D, Horsefeathers, glendaw271, petulans, elpacifico66, Notreadytobenice, makettle, BYw, palantir, dmhlt 66, angelino, lissablack, Levi the Oracle, RWN, oldliberal, legendmn, madtowntj, clent, maggiejean, prettygirlxoxoxo, BerkshireDem, Bule Betawi, multilee, J M F, Satya1, thorn in your side, Ravenstream, ARS, emboyo, ceebee7, jarbyus, ewmorr, bobatkinson, Dopeman, zephyr108, eltee, CanyonWren, Mislead, notrouble, Ohiodem1, CamillesDad1, petral, Keith Pickering, stevenwag, Little Flower, jfromga, nancat357, clifmichael, deviant24x, Railfan, Just Bob, brentbent, Christy1947, OrangeMike, awcomeon, moenrj, Laurilei, FogCityJohn, Captain Marty, Vacationland, NJpeach, estreya, Susan Grigsby, The Free Agent, catwho, Crabby Abbey, angelajean, Polly Syllabic, Simple, Peace and harmony, Puddytat, dlemex, DerAmi, DiegoUK, addisnana, rja, elengul, ericlewis0, Floande, cocinero, science nerd, rasfrome, cany, Its a New Day, Actbriniel, slice, Mac in Maine, Barbara Marquardt, redlum jak, ebbet, kerflooey, Bluefin, kayak58, Quite Contrary, nervousnellie, jd texas, sabo33, anyname, La Gitane, OldGrammy, FarWestGirl, lexalou, Sand Hill Crane, kevin k, CoExistNow, Word Alchemy, trumpeter, mrsgoo, marleycat, zukesgirl64, badscience, IllanoyGal, thomask, BarackStarObama, evilgalblues, merrily1000, seattlebarb, MRA NY, createpeace, Sark Svemes, enhydra lutris, antooo, poliwrangler, VTCC73, Caddis Fly, waiting for lefty, Solarian, Vatexia, Badjuh, blue aardvark, jolux, stlsophos, weinerschnauzer, jham710, Nightshade Q, googie, aerie star, Mentatmark, ChiTownDenny, bassinduo, allergywoman, I C Mainer, drawingporno, No one gets out alive, livingthedream, jacey, Tentwenty, Adam Blomeke, KayeB in Florida, stormicats, RhodaA, anodnhajo, sow hat, vacilando, leathersmith, We Won, im a plugger, Eric Nelson, oneshot, barkingcat, Joieau, Trotskyrepublican, FreeSpeaker, Evolutionary, congenitalefty, the Don, TBug, geojumper, Arahahex, Olkate, MartyM, BRog, noise of rain, Kinak, ItsaMathJoke, dotdash2u, Artandscience, Kayjay, wasatch, Marjmar, databob, peptabysmal, A FIB in Cheddarland, left rev, buckybadger1988, CalBearMom, Greatwyrm, Dumas EagerSeton, corpsechorus, natfroiland, blueoldlady, isewquilts2, ForestLake, Illinois IRV, countwebb, The grouch, Herodotus Prime, Eric Twocents, M E C, Late Again, Themselves, glorificus, FeltzNook, Setsuna Mudo, Steve in the Library, Tageslicht, weck, life is making tacos, eMiles, ericv101

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site