A federal court says it will take on the task of fixing state legislative district maps, but only if both sides in a lawsuit challenging them cannot reach an agreement.
Noting that split control of the state Senate makes a legislative solution unlikely, a panel of federal judges says it will fix problems with maps in Milwaukee’s 8th and 9th Assembly districts.
The three judges last week ruled the maps violated the Voting Rights Act because of how they divided the Latino population. They ordered lawmakers to fix those two districts, but both sides have asked the judges to take up the issue because Democrats and Republicans now share control of the state Senate. The shift in political control at the Capitol makes any agreement unlikely.
While Democrats have said they think the court ruling opens the door to changing other district lines, judges on Tuesday stated their order is focused specifically on the two Milwaukee Assembly districts.
The judges have asked both sides to meet at least once to discuss what the new districts should look like. If they can’t agree, both sides are being told to submit their own suggested changes for the court to consider as it draws new boundary lines in early April.