Remap Wisconsin districts, panel says

Feb. 21, 2012 at 2:06 PM
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MILWAUKEE, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Republican legislative leaders in Wisconsin should consider redrawing election maps in light of court challenges, a three-judge panel said Tuesday.

The three-person federal judicial panel gave the GOP-dominated Legislature until 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to decide if it would reconsider maps of election districts, designed during the summer, that favor Republican candidates, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported. A group of Democratic voters sued in federal court even before the maps were unveiled, litigation that has been consolidated with a suit now in court brought by the immigrant rights organization Voces de la Frontera.

At the trial, Judge J.P. Stadtmueller said drawing the election districts is the responsibility of the Legislature, but the plaintiffs have raised significant issues, in particular the way Latino neighborhoods were moved into new districts.

Stadtmueller suggested attorneys' talents could be "used more effectively in the halls where it should be used, and that is in the halls of the Legislature."

The trial will continue Wednesday if the Legislature does not respond.

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