BOOM: Federal Court Deems Republicans Guilty Of Unconstitutional Partisan Acts

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In a precedent-setting decision, a panel of federal judges found Wisconsin’s 2011 legislative map to be a case of unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering. As reported in the Wisconsin State Journal, Republican Party leaders, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, created the map “virtually in secret,” in order to redraw districts to favor their own party.

Judge Kenneth Ripple, senior judge on the three-judge federal panel wrote in the final judgement:

‘We find that Act 43 was intended to burden the representational rights of Democratic voters throughout the decennial period by impeding their ability to translate their votes into legislative seats.

‘Moreover, as demonstrated by the results of the 2012 and 2014 elections, among other evidence, we conclude that Act 43 has had its intended effect.‘Finally, we find that the discriminatory effect is not explained by the political geography of Wisconsin nor is it justified by a legitimate state interest. Consequently, Act 43 constitutes an unconstitutional political gerrymander.’

The 116-page decision was handed down on Monday, six months after testimony was heard in a Madison, Wisconsin, federal court. The decision included a dissent from U.S. District Judge William Griesbach, with the third member of the panel being U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb.The court did not call for a plan of action, but ordered both sides to file a proposed remedy within 30 days.

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