The state Supreme Court is being asked to get involved in the battle over legislative redistricting.
A group of Republicans wants the state Supreme Court to order any recall election for state senators to be held in new districts approved earlier this year. The lawsuit asks for three circuit court judges to be appointed to hear the case, which would then likely be appealed directly to the Supreme Court. It also claims the old district maps should not be used because they are unconstitutional due to population shifts.
There is no set timeframe for the Supreme Court to consider the request.
Democratic Party of Wisconsin chairman Mike Tate says the fight belongs in the federal court system, where a lawsuit filed by those opposed to the new maps is already awaiting trial. Tate says the new maps infringe on federal civil rights, so those courts should decide the issue. Democrats last week also asked federal judges to make sure any recalls use the old district lines.
The law changing district lines based on 2010 census data says they do not take effect until November of 2012. Tate notes that the state Senate recently considered legislation that would pushed back the effective date, although the bill did not receive a vote in the Senate because Republicans lacked the support needed for passage.
Tate says the GOP is trying to use any advantage they have by requesting action in the state Supreme Court, based on the perception that a conservative-leaning court will side with their arguments. He also points out that the law firm representing those who brought the suit forward is the same firm that helped Republicans draw the new district lines.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:16)