Wisconsin Republicans Ask Judge to Toss ‘Obstructionist’ Redistricting Lawsuit

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by Benjamin Yount

 

Republicans in Wisconsin say Democrats are running to court before they’ve even had a chance to draw a new political map.

The Republican-led legislature on Tuesday filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit from a handful of voters that asks the federal court to draw Wisconsin’s new political map.

“Plaintiffs’ suit is a direct attack on the Legislature’s constitutionally delegated responsibility of redistricting. It is a poorly disguised race to beat’ everyone else ‘to the finish line’ of redistricting,” the legislature’s court filing reads.

Lawmakers say the advocate-voters want to rush to court, even though work on the new map is just beginning.

“They say there will be ‘near-certain deadlock’ between the legislative and executive branches. They allege that ‘partisan division among Wisconsin’s political branches makes it extremely unlikely’ that new redistricting plans will pass ‘in time to be implemented during the upcoming 2022 election.’ They assert that ‘Gov Evers (pictured above) has been in nearly constant conflict with the Republican-controlled Legislature over a broad range of policies.’ And they also blame the census delays for ‘increas[ing] the already significant likelihood the political branches will reach an impasse.,’” the Republican motion states.

Plainly, lawmakers want the court to toss the redistricting lawsuit because there’s nothing for the court to decide.

“Plaintiffs’ suit is not justiciable at this time. Flouting our constitutional structure, Plaintiffs invite[d] this Court to oversee the state redistricting process beginning on Day 1 of redistricting. Their suit is not ripe and should be dismissed,” the lawmakers argue.

The advocate-voters say new Census numbers mean the current political map is constitutionally out of date. They want the federal court to draw a new map ahead of next year’s elections for Congress and the state legislature.

Republican lawmakers say they were able to finish the current map, drawn back in 2011, in time to avoid any election problems.

“Plaintiffs acknowledge that the Legislature was able to complete redistricting last redistricting cycle without an impasse,” the Republican motion notes. “And Plaintiffs acknowledge that the next election deadline is not until June 1, 2022, when candidates must file nomination papers for primary elections.”

Republicans had complete control over the map in 2011. It was finally approved after a months-long court battle that saw a court order lawmakers to redraw two State Assembly districts. Many politicos think Wisconsin’s next political map will be largely the same as the current map, with a few charges in Madison and Dane County where communities grew. And in Milwaukee where the city shrank.

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Photo “Tony Evers” by Tony Evers. Background Photo “State Street, Madison, Wisconsin” by Richard Hurd. CC BY 2.0.

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