A three judge panel in the US Eastern District Court (ruling linked) issued its ruling Thursday, calling the 2011 Wisconsin redistricting process “needlessly secret.” The court found merit in the Voces de la Frontera claim of Voting Rights Act violation in the drawing of the 8th and 9th Districts in Milwaukee, and ordered the Legislature to redraw those lines immediately, so as to not effect upcoming elections. Based on that VRA violation, the court enjoined the GAB to not enact the Redistricting Law.
While the court verbally chided the process as being disruptive and needlessly secret, moving millions of Wisconsinites needlessly out of standing Districts; the court found no precedent for overturning the law on procedural grounds. The plaintiffs in this instance had not proven voter disenfranchisement as Districts drawn satisfied the “one person one vote” test.
The court order requires the Legislature to redraw the 8th and 9th Districts in Milwaukee immediately, and is a victory for the Voces group claiming disenfranchisement. Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald reacted by saying the Legislature had no intention of meeting in Special Session to repair the maps – which would be in direct violation of the Court order.