Plaintiffs in a gerrymandering lawsuit against the state are asking a judge for a trial before March 2019 to allow the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal during its 2019-20 term.
But the state, represented by DOJ, is arguing for a trial no sooner than June 2019 due to the emergence in September of a second lawsuit featuring the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee as a plaintiff with a new legal theory.
Attorneys last month also added several new plaintiffs to the original case, Gill vs. Whitford, which the U.S. Supreme Court in June remanded back to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin on the grounds it didn’t have standing. With the amended complaint, that lawsuit now has 40 plaintiffs: Democratic voters in legislative districts across the state.
The attorneys in September requested the two lawsuits to be joined together, something a federal judge is allowing for scheduling purposes. The lawsuits, however, could be heard separately if a judge deems the issues they raise as too different.
Judge James Peterson, appointed by President Barack Obama, will consider a schedule for the cases at a pretrial conference Oct. 16.
Meanwhile, the GOP-controlled Assembly is requesting to become a party to the original suit on the grounds it would be directly affected by any change to Wisconsin’s political maps.