Todays Republicans never give up.
Yesterday I wrote about the Redistricting Lawsuit in Wisconsin that's before the courts after lawsuits were filed by Democrats and Latinos after a secretly drawn map was rammed through our State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Walker. They were offered an opportunity, before the trial began, to agree to sit down with plaintiffs in the case and redraw the legislative districts taking in mind the concerns of those groups. All the court wanted was a decision of yes or know. If yes, the court would have given them plenty of time to redo the maps.
After a whole lot of waiting, the deadline came and the GOP said that they couldn't redraw the map, citing an obscure 1954 State Supreme Court decision saying maps could only be redistricted once every 10 years, so they claimed their hands were tied and they were powerless to redo the maps. A whole lot of laughter ensued about the GOP violations of other state laws and court decision, but this one they were going to follow.
The trial was scheduled to begin today. Instead, the 3 judge panel gave yet another deadline to the GOP along with their opinion that they did have the power to redraw the redistricting map. They gave the GOP until 2 PM to decide whether or not they will sit down with plaintiffs in the future to draw new legislative districts.
They were given 3 1/2 hours, until 2 PM Central Time, to return with their decision on cooperating to redraw the map.
The panel of three federal judges told attorneys in the case to report to the court by 2 p.m. Wednesday on whether the Legislature would try to establish new maps taking into account legal challenges made by Democrats and Latinos.
If lawmakers won’t agree to do that, the trial will start at 8:30 a.m. Thursday on an accelerated schedule. The trial was expected to last three or four days, but the presiding judge said he wanted to complete testimony by Friday, even if it meant going into the evening.
On Tuesday, an attorney for the state, Dan Kelly, told the judges that lawmakers were open to making changes to the maps. Now their willingness will be put to the test, as they must make a decision within hours as to whether they will try to do that.Stay tuned for further developments.
This space for rent until there are new developments.
Update: This is not the update we're looking for edition: The Journal Sentinel article is getting a bit more fleshed out:
Also Wednesday, the panel ruled that an attorney for the Legislature must give a deposition to the groups suing over the maps, giving the court and the public a broader understanding of the secretive process Republicans used to draw them.
But the court said the attorney, Jim Troupis, will not have to testify on some matters because of attorney-client confidentiality
Troupis was one of the attorneys hired by lawmakers to help draw the maps. Legislative leaders have set aside $400,000 in taxpayer money for the work of Troupis, other attorneys and consultants. .
The plaintiffs said Troupis' testimony was essential because they view him as an architect of the Assembly districts in Latino neighborhoods on Milwaukee's south side.
Stay tuned for more developments. The deadline has passed.
Update 2: The GOP has asked for, and received, a 2 hour extension.
According to presiding Judge J.P. Stadtmueller's office, the state asked for an extra two hours to report to the court, and the panel agreed to that. They must now contact the court by 4 p.m.More delaying tactics or are they considering the possibility of actually sitting down and negotiating on the redistricting map? Time will tell.
Update 3: For the second time the GOP says NO.
For the second day in a row, Republican lawmakers declined to revisit election maps they drew last year, setting the stage for a fast-track trial starting Thursday that will determine which political party has an advantage in this fall's elections.
I'm anxious for the trial to begin. Those documents and emails that the Republicans tried to keep secret were just the appetizer. Bring me the main course. And some Scottenfreuden for desert would be nice.
More interesting tidbits from the ever updated article:
The court rejected that argument Wednesday and gave them 5 1/2 hours to say whether they would spend the coming weeks making alterations based on legal challenges from Democrats and Latinos. The Republicans declined to do so, clearing the way for Thursday's trial.
The case comes to trial just as Gov. Scott Walker nearly doubles the amount in taxpayer money that can be spent on outside attorneys assisting the Department of Justice. Documents released Wednesday show the cap on the contract with Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren is being raised from $500,000 to $925,000.
Those costs are in addition to the $400,000 that Republican lawmakers have committed to two law firms that helped them draw the maps.