Skip to comments.[WI] STATEMENT FROM ATTORNEY GENERAL J.B. VAN HOLLEN ON REDISTRICTING CASE
Posted on 03/22/2012 12:28:38 PM PDT by Hunton Peck
MADISON This morning, the three-judge panel from the Eastern District of Wisconsin (Diane P. Wood, Justice-Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, J.P. Stadtmueller, District Court Judge-Eastern District of Wisconsin, and Robert M. Dow, Jr., District Court Judge-Northern District of Illinois) issued its decision in Baldus, et al. v. Brennan, et al., Case No. 11 CV 562, and Voces de la Frontera, Inc. et al. v. Brennan, Case No. 11 CV 1011, which involved challenges to 2011 Wisconsin Acts 43 and 44. Act 44 established the congressional districts within the State of Wisconsin based on 2010 census data and Act 43 established the state senate and assembly districts.
All challenges to Act 44 were rejected and the newly drawn congressional boundaries were upheld as legal and constitutional. All challenges to the state senate districts created by Act 43 also were rejected and the newly-drawn state senate districts were upheld as legal and constitutional. With respect to the state assembly districts created by Act 43, the Court rejected all constitutional challenges and all other challenges with one exception. The Court held that the plaintiffs were entitled to limited relief under the Voting Rights Act with respect to assembly districts 8 and 9. Although it recognized that Act 43 created two Latino influence districts, it found this to be insufficient because Act 43 fails to create a [single] majority-minority district for Milwaukees Latino community. However, the Court stated that its holding is not intended to affect any other district drawn by Act 43 and that any redrawing of the lines for Districts 8 and 9 must occur within the combined outer boundaries of those two districts.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen responded to the decision as follows: The judgments made by the Wisconsin Legislature have largely been vindicated. No constitutional defects were found and what began as a scattershot attack on every aspect of these laws has come down to a single finding that one line between two districts should be adjusted. While the intent of the maps was to create two assembly districts where Latino voters were likely to be dominant, the Court concluded that it was better to draw the line so that Latino voters were more concentrated in one of the districts.
This decision is currently under review. Any appeal would be directly to the United States Supreme Court.
I have never understood why ghettoizing minorities within majority minority districts is good either for the country or for the minorities. From a national point of view it just divides us be race and emphasizes race when we should be doing just the opposite. From a minority perspective it limits the number of legislators on whom they can have a direct influence.
Sounds like the new senate districts are good to go and the liberals are screwed for the next ten years.
It is good for neither the country nor for the minorities. It is good only for the Democrat Party.
Right. If schools need to be desegregated for racial equity, then voting districts should be created to maximize diversity as well.
“This decision is currently under review. Any appeal would be directly to the United States Supreme Court.”
I sure hope the RAT Unions decide to spend more of their dues money on an appeal to the SCOTUS! Only their lawyers will make anything on the deal.
Redistricting vindication (mostly) ping!
FReep Mail me if you want on, or off, this Wisconsin interest ping list.
Does anyone know if this affects the recall? IOW do voters voting for the Senators who are being recalled have to vote in the new, or the old, districts? Does this disqualify any of the signatures?
On another topic, do the people who brought this bogus suit have to pay court costs? I know I’m dreaming, but it would certainly curtail this nansense if that were the case.
Federal court panel largely upholds Republican-drawn legislative redistricting maps(From http://www.wisbar.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=News&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=109855)
A federal district court panel upheld 130 of 132 state legislative districts established through the legislative redistricting process last summer, as well as a congressional redistricting map. As it stands, the new maps will not apply to any recall election, but state cases are pending.
By Joe Forward, Legal Writer, State Bar of Wisconsin
Federal court panel largely upholds Republican-drawn legislative redistricting maps March 22, 2012 A three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin today upheld all but two state legislative districts drawn by a Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature. It also upheld a congressional redistricting map.
The panel lamented on the secrecy and partisan nature of this cycles redistricting process and harkened back to a time when Wisconsin was famous for its courtesy and its tradition of good government, but ultimately ruled the maps did not violate the law, save a violation of federal law requiring a change to Assembly districts 8 and 9 in Milwaukee County.
Under the panels decision, the redistricting maps will not take effect for voting purposes until the November elections meaning they wont be in place for any recall elections that take place before November unless a state court rules otherwise.
Do maps apply to any recall election before November?
The panel did not decide whether Act 43 maps apply to any recall election that takes place before November, concluding that no case or controversy exists for the federal court to decide.
Act 43 specifically states that it is effective, for purposes of elections, starting in November 2012. Republican voters have challenged this effective date in state courts, arguing that Act 43s maps must apply to any recall election before November on constitutional grounds.
The state courts have not yet decided the issue and three Republican Senators Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (Juneau), Terry Moulton (Chippewa Falls), and Van Wanngaard (Racine) are facing recall elections in May or June.
Wisconsins Government Accountability Board (GAB) issued a formal opinion that any recall election that takes place before November will be conducted under pre-Act 43 maps, and the panel suggested that there would be nothing unconstitutional about doing that.
If, however, a time comes when the GAB proposes to take a different action, either on its own or by virtue of a state court ruling, and there is a live controversy, plaintiffs may return to this court and present whatever arguments that may have on this question, the panel wrote.
Thank you for the further information. It sounds like a pretty favorable ruling, when all is said and done.
Does the term “Latino” conclusively define a class of people all of whom are socially, culturally and politically similar? What “marker” do Latinos exhibit that makes possible their identification and segregation into electoral districts officially tagged “Latino?” On what authority do governments presume to create such geographical districts?
Stinking presumptive inane political manipulation.
Here’s how Mark Belling explained this to us today: This is a (rare) win for repubs in WI. The court says that only 2 districts must be redrawn and they are both in areas (Milwaukee area) that were never going to be repub favorable anyway. All the other districts remain as drawn, thwarting the dreams of the dems who probably expected the entire state to be up for change again. Icing on the cake....the new redrawing should give repubs one or 2 districts that will now be easier to win, thus helping with the razor thin to zero edge we have at this time. That’s my report!
I’d guess that it means anyone who identifies himself as “Latino” in the census.
I agree that it’s nuts. Of course gerrymandering has been going on as long as electoral districts have been around (I believe the word itself dates to the early 19th century). All the racial-ethnic divisions do is give Democrats a way to be self-righteous about it, and thus get their way more often.
“Id guess that it means anyone who identifies himself as Latino in the census. . . “
My rule is to identify myself as Native American, inasmuch as I was born in America of 2nd and 3rd generation American parents descended entirely from Norwegian immigrants.
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