GOP lawmakers want a federal court to dismiss a “wildly premature” lawsuit filed by a half-dozen Dem voters asking a three-judge panel to set a deadline for the state to draw new political lines.
That suit also asks the federal court to step in to create new maps when the GOP-controlled Legislature and Dem Gov. Tony Evers inevitably fail to agree on new lines.
But in yesterday’s filing, the attorneys for GOP lawmakers argued the state Legislature and the Wisconsin courts should first be given the opportunity to try drawing maps before the federal courts step in. The state Supreme Court is controlled by conservatives.
Lawmakers also sought permission to intervene in the suit, which names the members of the state Elections Commission.
“Plaintiffs’ suit is a direct attack on the Legislature’s constitutionally delegated responsibility of redistricting,” the proposed brief argues.
The GOP attorneys filed several documents with the court. One is a motion to intervene in the suit. Another is the proposed brief to dismiss the suit that lawmakers want the court to consider if they’re allowed to intervene.
The brief argues intervention in redistricting by federal court is only permitted when “there is ‘evidence’ making it ‘apparent’ that the State (including the state courts) will fail to ‘develop a redistricting plan in time for the primaries.'”
But the Dem lawsuit hasn’t given state leaders time to even start the redistricting process given it was filed one day after the Census Bureau released the data needed to draw new maps, the brief argues. The brief notes candidates can’t begin circulating nomination papers until April 15 and those signatures aren’t due until June 1, arguing there is still adequate time.
It also argues if the Legislature and guv fail to draw a new map, the next stop should be the Wisconsin courts, not the federal courts.
Read the proposed brief supporting the motion to dismiss:
Read the brief supporting the motion to intervene: