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Federal judges re-draw two state assembly districts


MILWAUKEE (WSAU) Democrats and Hispanics have scored a victory in one of Wisconsin’s final re-districting disputes. Yesterday three federal judges re-drew the boundaries of two state Assembly districts in Milwaukee, in order to give Hispanics a better chance of keeping at least one house seat. Earlier the court said the Republicans who drew the new maps violated the federal Voting Rights Act, by splitting Milwaukee Hispanics into two districts to reduce their ability to elect at least one of their own to the Assembly.

The judges asked the parties in the original redistricting lawsuit to try and reach an agreement on the final two districts. But they couldn’t, so the judges did it for them.

The State Justice Department says it might appeal. The court had earlier upheld the other 97 Assembly districts and all 33 Senate districts – but the judges scolded the majority Republicans for drawing them in secret, and locking Democrats and others out of the process.

The new maps will take effect in the fall elections. Critics say the G-O-P rigged them to give them a better chance of winning elections all the way until the next re-districting which follows the 2020 Census.