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Judge orders redistricting consultant to answer questions over new state voting boundaries

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Redistricting graphic
Redistricting graphic

UNDATED (WSAU) A panel of three federal judges has ordered for a third time that a Republican consultant must answer questions from Democratic plaintiffs about the way the G-O-P drew up the state’s new legislative districts. After the first two rulings, Republicans asked the panel to clarify what information could be released. They claim that some of Joe Handrick’s work should be kept secret because litigation was expected – and the G-O-P says they’re entitled to secrecy under an attorney-client privilege.

But yesterday federal judges J-P Stadtmueller, Diane Wood, and Robert Dow said there was almost nothing that could be kept from the Democrats, who’ve filed suit to strike down the new legislative districts. And they accused the G-O-P and its lawyers of quote, “flailing wildly in a desperate attempt to hide from both the court and the public the true nature of what exactly transpired in the redistricting process.”

The judges also said they will quote, “will not suffer the sort of disinformation, foot-dragging, and obfuscation now being engaged in by Wisconsin’s elected officials and-or their attorneys.” The panel also said taxpayers will not pay for the latest legal maneuvers. They ordered three G-O-P attorneys from Michael Best and Friedrich to cover the costs on both sides.

Over a dozen Democrats filed suit against the G-O-P’s redistricting plan before it came out last summer. A trial in the case is set for next month.

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