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View Diary: Wisconsin redistricting scandal deepens (50 comments)

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  •  That solves one problem: (50+ / 0-)

    As a "lay" attorney, all I could think of when reading this was "but they are going to get away with the re-districting" b/c ultimately, even if they get a few lackeys (or even the big boss) thrown in jail (which is also no guarantee in a big political case), and even huge fines to them, there is still the ultimate problem that they will have gotten away with cementing their power through nefarious redistricting.

    It would take an incredibly strong judge to look at the whole situation and rule that given the intentional deleting of files, intentionally disobeying court orders and lying to the court that he/she had no confidence in the process and the entire redisctricting scheme needed to be thrown out.

    Ultimately, that kind of ruling is the only way to guarantee it won't happen again. If parties knew that not only would some go to jail and all would be subject to big fines, only if they also knew that these horribly partisan redistricting plans will also be thrown out will they ever stop. There is just too much to gain otherwise.

    I hope that kind of judge is hearing the case but a lot of judge's would concern themselves only with the criminality before the court and leave the political process to the pols.

    Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

    by 4CasandChlo on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 08:31:19 AM PDT

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    •  Exactly: "There is no right without a remedy." (22+ / 0-)

      First-year law school maxim.

      "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

      by jm214 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 09:11:06 AM PDT

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    •  And then it gets appealed right up to the (12+ / 0-)

      Republican dominated Wisconsin Supreme Court.

      I would hope there might be evidence in the files that would result in the Supremes having to recuse themselves from hearing that suit, but since they couldn't even hear a case where the Chief Justice abused an Associate Justice in front of other justices because too many would have to recuse themselves...

      •  This is a federal court (19+ / 0-)

        The Wisconsin Supreme Court wouldn't be involved in this at all.

        You don't fight the fights you can win. You fight the fights that need fighting. -President Andrew Sheppard (D-Wisconsin)

        by Gpack3 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 09:58:47 AM PDT

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        •  So the Republican dominated (10+ / 0-)

          U.S. Supreme Court then.

          "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

          by gritsngumbo on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 10:06:14 AM PDT

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        •  I was kind of wondering why, since the (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior, ptanow, Puddytat

          Wisconsin Supreme Court had settled this by basically allowing nearly everything to stand, I thought, this was still going on.

          Yes, the Republican dominated USSC and the afraid-to-look-political US DOJ (amazed they're even in this to begin with).

          •  The Wisconsin Supreme Court hasn't ruled on this (11+ / 0-)

            The only court challenge that's gone anywhere has been in federal court. And they're allowing a lot because the Constitution and federal law allow a lot. The decision said as much. It excoriated the Republicans for their bad practices and said that the maps were blatantly partisan gerrymanders, but that they were mostly legal.

            I'm sure the aides and the lawyers will get nailed to the wall for contempt, but that doesn't really affect how legal the maps are.

            You don't fight the fights you can win. You fight the fights that need fighting. -President Andrew Sheppard (D-Wisconsin)

            by Gpack3 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 12:18:11 PM PDT

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            •  Not necessarily (6+ / 0-)

              If you read this court's decisions to date, they do point out that the SCOTUS has not said that a partisan gerrymander is constitutional - just that no party to a lawsuit has ever suggested to them a workable test for it.

              The plaintiffs in this case did not suggest such a test - but that was before the apparent perjury and destruction of evidence came to light - and the latter has the potential for the court to assume the most damning evidence possible was amongst that deleted (and one of the hard drives in this case was damaged beyond recovery).

              There is therefore the possibility here for plaintiffs to propose a workable legal standard for the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering as easy for them to navigate as it is to limbo under the Petronas Towers.

              Fake candidates nominated by the GOP for the recalls: 6 out of 7. Fake signatures on the recall petitions: 4 out of 1,860,283.

              by GeoffT on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 04:36:24 PM PDT

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      •  Actually, no (6+ / 0-)

        This is still in front of the federal 3 judge panel who are so sick of this case (due to the kitchen sink approach the Republicans used in refusing to turn over documents even when fined and then computers used when additional documents kept appearing that should have been turned over long ago) that they issued what I believe was a hurried and flawed ruling allowing the GOP to keep nearly all of their gerrymandered maps.  

        As documents continued to be found, the judicial panel gave parties a firm deadline earlier this year to finalize the case and get it off their desks.  Plaintiffs then asked for access to the computers used for redistricting so all documents could be obtained.   Since those computers were property of the state, even though they had been used off site (likely for purposes of secrecy), they were requested so any additional documents could be retrieved.  

        Republicans howled at this, again tried to deny access, and even claimed the computers were "lost".  After a lot of haggling eventually they coughed them up.  It was then that "deletion programs" (prohibited in state computers) and damage to the hard drives were found, which led the plaintiffs to ask for an extension of the deadline so forensic computer specialists could see if they could retrieve any information that had been illegally deleted.

        We have a Republican majority in our Legislature and weak kneed prosecution of the illegal acts they commit.  The best I can hope for is that the 3 judge panel is finally convinced that there was some serious district rigging and enough evidence of criminality that they will redraw the maps themselves.

        I'm not holding out hope for that because this 3 judge panel has shown themselves to be uncaring about this case and, despite obvious criminal intent, allowed the GOP to keep the rewards of these acts.  They're also anxious as a chicken surrounded by foxes to get this case off their desk as fast as possible.

        There is the possibility, however, that the full appeals court could be asked to hear the redistricting case should the 3 judge panel fail as badly as they have been failing.

        What happens now is up to the 3 judge panel.

        Sadly, this was just a blurb in the local newspaper here buried on the back page.  I shouldn't be surprised, our media here has been hiding the flaws nad illegal acts of Republicans for a long, long time while front-paging and praising even faulty claims of successes to the skies.

        There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

        by Puddytat on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 11:11:42 PM PDT

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